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Home > Research > Water Sustainability > CLIMATE FORECAST-AIDED DROUGHT DECISION SUPPORT
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In North Central Texas, water supply is pressured by rapid population growth, urbanization and climate change. To meet the growing demand and to increase resilience, large water suppliers operate systems of reservoirs which are often interconnected by extensive networks of pipelines at significant infrastructural and energy costs. It is expected that optimal design and use of these networks will increase reliability and resilience while reducing operating costs, and that decisions about the storage and movement of water will benefit from fully utilizing weather and climate forecasts. This research aims at integrating the NOAA-produced ensemble forecasts at weather and climate scales and other climate forecast information into a risk-based decision-making framework to improve the operation of the reservoir-pipeline systems in the region.
Drought poses an increasing challenge for the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (DFW) and North Central Texas. In this region, water supply is pressured by rapid population growth, urbanization and climate change. In order to meet the growing demand and to increase resilience, large water suppliers, such as TRWD, operate systems of reservoirs that are often interconnected by extensive networks of pipelines. These networks incur significant infrastructural and energy costs. It is expected that optimal design and use of these networks will increase reliability and resilience while reducing operating costs, and that decisions about the storage and movement of water will benefit from weather and climate forecasts which are used currently only in a limited way. This project aims at integrating NOAA-produced ensemble forecasts on weather and climate scales and other climate forecast information within a risk-based decision-making framework to improve the operation of the reservoir-pipeline systems in North Central Texas.
In this project, the team of researchers at UTA and HSL in collaboration with hydrologists and meteorologists at TRWD and WGRFC objectively assesses the ability of weather and climate forecasts to improve the management of water supply in the DFW region by large water resources stakeholders such as TRWD (http://www.trwd.com/), the Trinity River Authority (TRA, http://www.trinityra.org/ ) and the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG, http://www.nctcog.org/). The value of these forecasts is demonstrated retrospectively through hindcasting and verification. The hindcasting experiments use weather and climate reforecasts from the Climate Forecast System Version 2 (CFSv2) and the Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS). Hydrologic ensemble hindcasts are produced with the Hydrologic Ensemble Forecast Service (HEFS) of the NOAA/NWS/National Water Center (NWS) and used as input to the TRWD’s decision support tool for reservoir operations, RiverWare. While the area of study is North Central Texas, it is envisaged that the general approach and methodology will be applicable to other regions.
This research is supported by the Sectoral Applications Research Program (SARP) of the NOAA Climate Program Office (CPO) Grant NA15OAR4310109. This support is gratefully acknowledged.