Planning & Management


398041 - Forecast-Informed Reservoir Operations: An Update on the Multi-Agency Research-to-Operations Effort

Wednesday, June 6
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Greenway GH

A recent assessment of the viability of using advanced hydrometeorological forecasting skill in predicting extreme precipitation and hydrologic runoff events indicates the potential for significant increases in water supply, flood risk management capacity and ecological benefit in the operation of some reservoirs through incorporation of Forecast-Informed Reservoir Operations (FIRO) principles in water management practice. A multi-disciplinary and multi-agency FIRO research and development effort began in 2015 with engineers, scientists and operators from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the US Bureau of Reclamation, the US Geological Survey (USGS), the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the California Department of Water Resources, the Sonoma County Water Agency, and the Center for Western Weather & Water Extremes at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The FIRO team is now conducting a full viability assessment of the use of advanced hydrometeorological forecasts in reservoir operations at the pilot reservoir, Lake Mendocino in the Russian River watershed. As part of this assessment, a phased approach is being tested based on lessons learned from the results of the preliminary viability assessment which indicated that significant increases in water supply can be realized at Lake Mendocino without adversely impacting, and even increasing, flood risk management capability using current forecast skill. Research into advancing meteorological forecasting skill as well as the impact of using advanced hydrologic modeling tools in water management is also underway as part of the FIRO effort. This presentation will detail the viability assessment approach and current progress of the forecasting skill and hydrologic modeling research of this potentially groundbreaking research-to-operations effort.

Cary A. Talbot, PhD, PE

Division Chief
US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

Dr. Cary Talbot is the Chief of the Flood and Protection Division at the Coastal & Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL), US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) where he has worked since 1994. He has extensive experience in the development, application and teaching in the use of surface water and groundwater numerical models that address a wide range of water resource planning and engineering design applications including: water supply; water control; inflitration; groundwater flow, transport, and remediation. Currently he supervises the planning and execution of approximately 100 researchers conducting projects across a broad range of inland and coastal water resources-related areas. Additionally, he is the Program Manager for the Forecast-Informed Reservoir Operations R&D effort for the USACE. Dr. Talbot earned Bachelors and Masters’ Degrees in Civil & Environmental Engineering with emphasis in Water Resources from Brigham Young University and a PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of Connecticut.


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398041 - Forecast-Informed Reservoir Operations: An Update on the Multi-Agency Research-to-Operations Effort

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