Development of short-range forecasts of weather-driven channel losses and gains to support Reclamation water management
How does short term weather variability influence losses and gains on the lower Colorado River? Can statistical post-processing and blending of different weather forecast models improve the 1-5 day precipitation forecast, especially for high impact events, such as convective situations during summer months? Does improved weather forecast skill at the grid cell level translate into improvement of loss/gain forecasting skill on the 1-5 day time scale for the Lower Colorado?
Need and Benefit
Water demand in the Colorado River basin is projected to increase further in the future, according to Reclamation's Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study (Bureau of Reclamation, 2012). With little available storage infrastructure on the reach below Parker Dam, managing operational requirements is challenging. Increased efficiency in YAO operations is thus a critical part to a sustainable long-term water management strategy of the Lower Colorado Region. To that end, improved loss/gain forecasts would be useful tools for daily YAO operations, as indicated by the YAO head of Operations and Maintenance Office.
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