Managing Datasets for Monitoring, Evaluating, and Decisionmaking
Improving data stewardship processes to meet decisionmaker needs, ensure data quality, and facilitate data sharing
"Reclamation makes critical decisions based upon the data the agency collects and manages. Data are, therefore, valuable assets. Good data management is essential to ensure
the quality, currency, and integrity of these information assets."
Outgoing Chief of Research, Research and Development Office
Understanding How Recharge Cycles and Dissolved Nitrate Affect Selenium
Using geochemical modeling and laboratory testing to track selenium and salinity
"These research results will provide important tools to assist in our understanding of selenium mobilization leading to more efficient, targeted approaches to control selenium loading in the basin."
Manager, Technical Services Division, Reclamation's Upper Colorado Region
Bulletin 2014-22: Nitrates
(PDF, 948 kB)
Improving Water Management With a State-of-the-Art Snow Model
A physically based, high resolution snow model for enhanced streamflow predictions in a changing environment
"We have already been able to use model results to support real-time operations for the Boise River Basin. The graphics and numerical products depicting distribution and amount of available snowmelt water were very useful in confirming our suspicions that runoff in both 2013 and 2014 would be less than forecasted, and less than what Snotel data alone would indicate."
Hydrologist, Reclamation's Pacific Northwest Region
Choosing the Right Meteorological Dataset for Hydrologic Simulations
How meteorological datasets affect model simulations and portrayal of climate sensitivity Title
"This work supports previous findings, demonstrating that we need to consider many facets of datasets and ways to analyze them, as all of these factors play a role in how climate change impacts are portrayed in long-term natural resources planning studies."
Hydrologic Civil Engineer, Reclamation's Technical Service Center
Bulletin 2014-20: Datasets
(PDF, 943 kB)
Using Unmanned Aerial Systems to Monitor Sediment Flow
Collaborating with the U.S. Geological Survey to test unmanned aerial systems for mapping sediment flow at a dam removal site
"Unmanned aerial systems hold promise for making it possible to conduct frequent missions to gather high resolution imagery over small areas."
Physical Scientist, Reclamation's Technical Service Center
Bulletin 2014-19: UAS
(PDF, 907 kB)
Measuring Biological Effects of Altered Flows
Understanding how flow and water temperature relate to stream health
"The nation's waterways are called upon to
serve many purposes and populations. Each use adds physical and biological stress to the river that the ecosystem must bear. Managing our part of each river's course is key to Reclamation's mission. Techniques like those in this study are useful for indicating the status and trend of waterways, based on the lowest level biologic building blocks. If the bugs, water temperature, habitats, and other basic components are prospering, theory says that the conditions for sustaining or recovering higher level ecosystem components are positive"
Mid-Pacific Region Science Liaison, Research and Development Office
Assessing the Ecological Health of Reclamation's Reservoirs
Using physical, chemical, and biological parameters to assess general ecological conditions for Reclamation reservoirs within a region
"Developing a web-based tool for tracking the ecological health of a reservoir could be a valuable tool for the general characterization of aquatic ecosystems and making comparisons among Reclamation's reservoirs."
Dmitri Vidergar, Fisheries Biologist, Reclamation's Pacific Northwest Region
Hydrokinetic Demonstration Results to Date and Path Forward
Can hydrokinetic projects work in canals while still maintaining efficient water and power deliveries?
"A well-developed numerical model will be a useful tool for both private developers and water system owners
to help determine if and where a hydrokinetic device could be deployed without impacting existing water delivery operation, before any installations are made."
Hydraulic Engineer, Reclamation's Technical Service Center
How Much Does it Cost to Start/Stop a Hydrogenerator?
Determining start/stop costs for hydropower generators to support integrating renewable power into the grid
"Reclamation is being called upon more frequently to start and stop units to support grid reliability, but the tools and methods available to understand the costs of these start/stops have been lacking. The development of this cost model will provide great value to Reclamation by delivering more reliable start/stop costs through a more user-friendly process."
Renewable Energy Program Manager, Reclamation's Power Resources Office
Detecting Cavitation to Protect and Maintain Hydraulic Turbines
Detecting, monitoring, and preventing cavitation damage at Reclamation's powerplants
"Besides predicting and reducing the damaging effects of cavitation, this research could reduce the hazards employees are exposed to during cavitation repairs. Cavitation is very damaging and requires extensive corrective maintenance to repair. Any steps that can be taken to reduce cavitation would be beneficial."
Reliability Program Analyst, Reclamation's Power
Catching Problems Early: Predicting Shear Pin Failures With Acoustic Emission Sensing and Analysis
Monitoring turbine linkage shear pins and detecting shear pin failures at Reclamation's powerplants
"The ability to predict some shear pin failures would be advantageous. Replacing shear pins would no longer be a "hurry-up-and-react" situation resulting in forced outages. Instead, shear pins could be replaced during planned outages. While this process may not predict all failures, even finding one or two could save millions of dollars in damaged equipment."
Reliability Program Analyst, Reclamation's Power Resources Office
Keeping Track of the Generator's Condition
Industry's first open source hydrogenerator condition monitoring software package
"This open-source software code works with a wide variety of data acquisition equipment including off-the-shelf data acquisition systems, specialized monitoring systems, and other computer systems. Hydrogenerator condition monitoring saves time and money, while improving the reliability of hydropower."
Manager, Hydropower Diagnostics and SCADA Group, Reclamation's Technical Service Center
Signal to Noise: Analyzing Generator Performance and Reliability
Adapting signal processing techniques to analyze generator and controller structures, operating parameters, and performance.
"This research is helping to provide Reclamation with cutting edge tools used for generator control system testing and generator plant model generation/validation."
Kyle W. Clair
Electrical Engineer, Reclamation's
Technical Service Center
Validating and Improving Models for Power Systems
Using online "disturbance" data to help improve the accuracy of Reclamation's power system models
"This research is helping Reclamation become more efficient in obtaining higher quality data and validating models to save a significant amount of money and resources."
Manager, Power System Analysis and Control Group, Reclamation's Technical Service Center
Testing and Verifying Rope Access Anchors
Making sure concrete anchor bolts perform safely for rope access technicians
"This research into life safety anchors helps Reclamation continue to develop safe practices and protocols for rope access maintenance and inspection of inaccessible features on Reclamation structures."
Mechanical Engineer, Reclamation's Technical
Making Reclamation Powerplants a Quieter Place
Reducing noise in Reclamation's powerplants by implementing advanced engineering controls
"This Voodoo noise control stuff really works!"
Green Springs Powerplant Foreman, Reclamation's Pacific Northwest Region
Safe and Grounded
Ensuring deenergized equipment is adequately grounded while maintenance work is being performed
"The primary purpose of personal protective grounding is to provide adequate protection against electric shock causing death or injury to personnel while working on deenergized lines
or equipment. This is accomplished by limiting exposure voltages at the worksite to a safe value if the line or equipment is accidentally energized."
Electrical Engineer, retired Reclamation employee
Using Intelligent Compaction for Better Earthwork Construction Control
Real-time analysis of compactor drum vibrations and roller position to document compaction
"Reclamation is posed to greatly benefit from Intelligent Compaction as it provides better coverage, better results, and better documentation than traditional spot-check methods."
Todd Hill, Safety of Dams Project Manager
Reclamation's Mid-Pacific Region
Affordable Self-Cleaning Trashrack
Irrigation districts can now build their own self-cleaning, solar- powered trashrack
"After seeing this device installed, I wondered how it worked. Now that I have seen it operate during a cleaning cycle, it is really a simple system that works well."
Ditchrider for the Tetsel Ditch Company
Understanding How Mussels Attach to Surfaces
Molecular-level insight to develop durable coatings that prevent mussel attachment
"Revealing the mystery of the mussels' underwater adhesion can be the key to new coatings, materials, or technologies that may signiicantly reduce
or prevent the rate of attachment, which is needed to sustain the reliability of Reclamation operations.
Bobbi Jo Merten, Chemist,
Reclamation's Technical Service Center
Determining How Runoff and Temperature Changes Are Linked to Fish Habitat
Evaluating climate-induced runoff and temperature changes on stream habitat metrics for endangered or threatened fish
"The models will help Reclamation and its partners analyze how future climate may affect river rehabilitation projects to improve conditions for listed salmonids with consideration for habitat response to climate change."
Jennifer Bountry, Hydraulic Engineer
Reclamation�s Technical Service Center
Adaption Rates of Bed Load Gravel With Riverflows
Determining how the rate of gravel movement along the riverbeds adapts to changing flow conditions
"Understanding how gravel moves along a riverbed and how riverflows influence that movement is
critical to managing a gravel river such as the Trinity River.
Robin Schrock, Trinity River Restoration Division Program Manager 20
Reclamation's Mid-Pacific Region
Developing Automated Methods to Improve Modeling for River Channels and Features
Getting a more accurate picture of our underwater surfaces
"The new GIS bathymetric tool is being used by the Sedimentation and River Hydraulics Group within Reclamation's Technical Service Center to make better surface models for 2-D hydraulic modeling efforts. It gives us more accurate representation of the channel and provides a new
window onto riverbeds.
Jennifer Bountry, Hydraulic Engineer Reclamation's Technical Service Center
This information was last updated on November 22, 2014
Contact the Research and Development Office with questions or comments about this page