Although the integrated system being developed is prototype and contains components that are products of recent and on-going research by both developing organizations, the INFORM project is primarily a demonstration project with significant resources devoted to the implementation of the system in a near operational environment through collaborative work with forecast and management agencies. Key operational agencies for the implementation of the demonstration project are the U.S. National Weather Service California-Nevada River Forecast Center, the California Department of Water Resources, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Central Valley Operations, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Other agencies and regional stakeholders are contributing through active participation in project workshops and, indirectly, through comments and suggestions conveyed to the INFORM Oversight and Implementation Committee (OIC). The INFORM OIC consists of representatives from funding agencies, from forecast and management agencies with a mandate pertinent to Northern California operations, and from the developing organizations (HRC and GWRI). The OIC purpose is to provide independent review of the development and demonstration activities, to guide the INFORM project activities toward meeting the stated project goals, and to facilitate implementation of the integrated system components in a near-operational environment. An INFORM Core Office was established at HRC that serves as the information dissemination conduit for project activities.
The technical basis of INFORM is an integrated modeling system with the following components: (a)large-scale ensemble climate weather forecasting and assimilation; (b)downscaling of surface ensemble forecasts for the watersheds of interest; (c)generation of ensemble reservoir inflow forecasts based on hydrologic modeling of snow accumulation and melt and surface and subsurface water transport in watersheds upstream and downstream of the main reservoirs; (d)generation of dynamic reservoir regulation policies and tradeoffs accounting for forecast uncertainty and all applicable water uses; and (e)forecast and policy evaluation by assessing the economic benefits for each site and for the system as a whole.