PD1.1 Defining User Needs for Water Prediction Priority Products and Services Using Social Science

Monday, 8 January 2018: 8:45 AM
Room 6B (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Mary G. Mullusky, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and P. Colohan and A. O'Donnell

The National Weather Service Office of Water Prediction and the Water Resources Services Branch recently engaged with social scientists to inform the suite of hydrologic prediction products and services that will be developed at the National Water Center (NWC) based on core partner needs. The NWC was established as a collaborative effort between federal agencies to inform decisions on a range of water resources issues. Based on a multi-year series of stakeholder meetings, the NWC developed the National Water Model (NWM) to provide consistent, high resolution, integrated water analyses, predictions and data to address critical unmet information and service gaps. The NWM is a continental-scale water resources model that combines data from USGS stream gauges with outputs from NOAA’s atmospheric weather models to produce water forecast guidance for 2.7 million river and stream reaches all the way to the coast, which represents a 700-fold increase in spatial density, providing forecast guidance at the “street level” for the first time. A social science assessment was developed to determine exactly what new or improved products informed by the NWM are most needed across core partner groups. This presentation will share early findings from the social science assessment, which will inform the most effective and efficient way to develop and organize services to build out NWC capabilities over the next 10 years as envisioned by the “stairway to heaven.” (See Figure 1)

A panel presentation is proposed to share preliminary results from a series of stakeholder engagement sessions on prototype flash flood products, as well as an initial ranking of existing, experimental and potential new products/services across the entire spectrum of water resources needs as depicted in the above figure. Input will be solicited from participants in this session to obtain their views of priority needs and to their thoughts on the next steps for this assessment.

Arleen O’Donnell (Eastern Research Group (ERG), will discuss the social science assessment methodology undertaken for this project; Mary Mullusky (NWS) will show prototype flash flood products and discuss findings from the stakeholder engagement; and Peter Colohan (NWS) will present preliminary findings from the social science assessment across the suite of water resources services. Ms. O’Donnell will facilitate the participant input portion of this session.

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