Reclamation conducts Baseline Water Assessments to develop water supply and demand information, guidance and tools needed to conduct planning activities across Reclamation’s mission areas. Baseline Water Assessments support reservoir operations planning, appraisal and feasibility studies, basin studies, drought contingency planning and environmental analyses. Examples of ongoing activities include:
- Conducting Impact Assessments to develop key data on west-wide risks and impacts to water supply and demand that inform Reclamation operations and planning studies and provide a foundation for project specific applications.
- Conducting Site-Specific Pilots to support the application of information developed through Basin Assessments in specific locations. Reclamation initiated the Site-Specific Pilots in 2015 to identify possible improvements to western reservoir operations using forecasting and identifying ways to enhance operations flexibility. Outcomes from the Pilots will be used to develop guidance for optimizing reservoir operations west-wide.
- Collaborating with other Federal agencies to develop tools with shared benefits. For example, Reclamation and the USGS are working together to expand application of the USGS National Brackish Groundwater Assessment database to develop a web-based data viewer and decision support tool for planners to evaluate the potential use of brackish groundwater supplies.