366909 Decision Calendar for West Coast Water Management: Connecting Science and Interrelated Decisions for Water Supply, Flooding, Fisheries and Coastal Management

Wednesday, 15 January 2020
Hall B1 (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Andrea Ray, NOAA/Earth System Research Lab, Boulder, CO; and L. E. Johnson

Decision support in the mid-range weather (6-10 days) to subseasonal to seasonal (S2S) lead times is a rich arena for applications and important to a weather-ready nation. A wide range of practitioners who manage water supply and reservoirs, fisheries, and coastal zones implement planning and preparedness at these time scales. To transition research to meaningful products and applications, we need both an understanding of the predictability at these time scales emerging from research and a more specific understanding of the needs for and uses of this predictability. Decision support requires an understanding of the who-what-when-where of the decisions to be supported; this presentation will describe social and policy science efforts to assess decisions at this time scale across several interacting management sectors, and to create a decision calendar of both the decisions and the forecast or risk information that might inform those and at what lead time. This information can then inform the development of products from the NOAA National Water Model and other experimental and operational systems to provide meaningful operational products. Questions to inform the development of products include:

-- What improvements in mid-range and S2S forecasting are important to users?

-- What information about uncertainty is needed for S2S and hydrological predictions to be usable for different kinds of practitioners?

-- What constitutes a reliable and sharp probabilistic forecast for different kinds of users?

-- What are the characteristics of products that serve different practitioners in interacting sectors?

This work builds on two decades of NOAA Physical Sciences Division collaboration with water managers and a decade of work on NOAA–Hydrometeorology research (Hydromet Testbed-West) and more recently the Advanced Quantitative Precipitation Information (AQPI) system program, as well as experience with R2O and O2R, and understanding the needs of NOAA marine resources managers. Some of the management concerns that we will describe include:

-- The interplay between water supply management (optimization) and flood control, and how those maybe used to benefit the shore-side management of marine species and habitats.

-- The recently recognized need for more accurate forecasts of heavy precipitation and winds as a factor in coastal flood risk.

-- Coastal and estuarine habitat management, including estuarine research reserves, species protection, and aquaculture.

-- Low and high flow forecasts as an aspect of estuarine salinity and water quality forecasting.

This presentation focuses on specific understanding of the needs for and uses of predictability these time scales, and will describe our efforts to transition knowledge from social and policy science research into understanding of needs for operations. We will describe the development of a decision calendar from mid-range weather to S2S to better identify uses of skill in U.S. West coast resource management.

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