Integrated Water Resources Science and Services. National Water Center

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1 TOO MUCH POOR QUALITY TOO LITTLE Integrated Water Resources Science and Services and the National Water Center Partnering to Address America s Water Resources Information Needs Mary G. Mullusky National Weather Service National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration August 21, 2012

2 TOO MUCH POOR QUALITY TOO LITTLE Outline Growing Water Challenges Stakeholder Needs Integrated Water Resources Science and Services (IWRSS) National Water Center (NWC) 2

3 Growing Water Challenges Population growth and economic development are stressing water supplies and increasing vulnerability A changing climate is impacting water availability and quality, increasing uncertainty An aging water infrastructure is forcing critical, expensive decisions Socio-economic risks of floods and droughts are escalating Blue Gold, The New Oil 3

4 Growing Socioeconomic Impacts Floods The annual average damage due to flooding has risen each of the past three decades (costs adjusted for inflation) : $4.7 Billion : $7.9 Billion : $10.2 Billion 2011 combined flood losses along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers are expected to exceed $6 Billion (USA TODAY; USACE) Drought 2011 impacts in Texas alone are expected to exceed $9 Billion (Associated Press; Time Magazine) $5.2 B - Rural Communities $2.0 B - Cattle Ranchers $1.8 B - Cotton Industry 4

5 The Past is No Longer Prologue Stationarity - the idea that natural systems fluctuate within an unchanging envelope of variability - is dead Milly et. al Science Magazine February 1, 2008 Uncertainty impacts: Water Supplies Water Management Systems Water Rights and Agreements Water Forecast Models Decision Support Systems Adaptation Decisions 5

6 Stakeholder Needs Expanded/new high resolution water information in space and time to inform decisions Quantification of uncertainty to manage risk Enhanced communication of flood risk using flood forecast inundation maps Simplified access to more comprehensive, integrated information NWS has completed extensive outreach to objectively define, validate and prioritize stakeholder needs Corps of Engineers has conducted National Needs Assessment for all 50 States 6

7 Federal Imperative Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Priorities for Managing Freshwater Resources in a Changing Climate, October 2011 National Goal: Government agencies and citizens collaboratively manage freshwater resources in response to a changing climate in order to ensure adequate water supplies, safeguard human life, health and property, and protect water quality and aquatic ecosystems. Recommends Federal Agencies: Improve Water Resources and Climate Change Information for Decision-Making Strengthen Assessment of Vulnerability of Water Resources to Climate Change Expand Water Use Efficiency Support Integrated Water Resources Management 7

8 Recent Extreme Flood Events Nashville May 2010 blog.printshiptn.com St. Francisville, La May Common Service Assessment Recommendations: Facilitate improved real-time access to data to ensure Common Operating Picture Implement comprehensive flood forecast inundation mapping system 8

9 IWRSS Roadmap and MOU Framework to align multiple agencies with complementary water-related missions to accomplish operational goals. MOU Signed May 11, 2011 Collaborative Science, Services and Tools to Support Integrated and Adaptive Water Resources Management Signatories Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA Administrator Rock Salt for Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Dr. Marcia McNutt, Director of the U.S. Geological Survey Initial Focus Areas High-Resolution Water Resource Forecasts Flood Inundation Mapping System Interoperability and Data Synchronization February

10 Innovative Federal Consortium New business model for interagency collaboration Share technology, information, models, best practices Started with three agencies, designed to expand Members agree to work towards: Interoperability of key systems & data synchronization Standardized data formats Enhanced geospatial information and visualization Common Operating Picture Coordinated R&D portfolio investments Leverage investments & multi-disciplinary skills to formulate effective solutions One stop shopping for federal water data and information National Water Center will serve as the catalyst to achieve these objectives 10

11 National Water Center Vision First national center for water forecast operations, research and interagency coordination to fill several critical gaps: Inform stakeholder decisions which address competing demands (e.g., hydropower, flood mitigation, municipal water supply, agriculture, recreation, ecosystem management, commerce) Better quantify and communicate risk, build resilient communities, and improve decision support for both high-impact events and routine high-value decisions Provide new high-resolution forecasts of critical water resource variables to help decision makers optimally manage our increasingly limited water supply Extend river and flood forecasting (currently limited to selected points on rivers) to provide maps showing forecasted extent and depth of flooding Integrate critical water resources information (currently scattered across multiple federal agencies) to provide one-stop shopping for stakeholders Provide a common operating picture for flood forecasting, adaptive planning and integrated water resource management Establish multi-agency proving ground to accelerate transition of research to operations 11

12 National Water Center Located on University of Alabama Campus in Tuscaloosa Groundbreaking Ceremony Feb 21, 2012 Size: 65,000 sq. ft. Green Building: LEED Gold Building Occupancy in June

13 NWC Functional Elements Level 2 Systems Proving Ground Geo-Intelligence Lab Collaborative Science & Software Engineering Studio Geo-Intelligence Laboratory Facility to develop, implement and maintain state-of-the science enterprise Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to support field operations Collaborative Science and Software Engineering Studio Development environment to better share and leverage investments and advances in science, technology and modeling among federal agencies Systems Proving Ground Laboratory to test new capabilities prior to field implementation, minimize operational risk, and accelerate deployment from research to operations 13

14 NWC Functional Elements Level 1 Airborne Snow Survey /Soil Moisture Program Information Technology Lab Distance Learning Classroom/Auditorium Administrative Offices Distance Learning Classroom and Auditorium Facility to provide cost-effective, state-of-the-art residence and distance learning to enhance technical competencies and enable field forecasters to easily leverage NWC knowledge base Airborne Snow Survey/Soil Moisture Program Space for pilots to manage and plan airborne surveys to collect mission critical information for river forecast modeling operations Information Technology Lab Area for IT specialists to manage, support and assure security of facility hardware/software assets 14

15 NWC Functional Elements Level 0 Operations Center with Situation Rooms Operations Center with Situation Rooms Nerve Center for National Hydrologic Forecast Operations and Support. Enhance intra- and inter-agency coordination and stakeholder engagement Provide comprehensive situational awareness and a national Common Operating Picture for water resources Provide new sector-specific information and services to enable routine, highvalue decision-making Staff includes focal points to address sector-specific information needs (Flood Hazards, Drought, Agriculture, Water Supply, Transportation, Energy, Ecosystems, Water Quality/Human Health) 15

16 New Digital Information Products Today: Flood Map Library Pilots Static maps display spatial extent and depth of flood water linked to NWS river forecast for levels ranging from minor through record flood Better mitigate flood impacts, reduce repetitive flood losses, and build more resilient communities Enhanced map viewer being developed jointly with USGS which links maps to HAZUS data Planned: Generate static flood risk maps and pilot dynamic flood forecast inundation maps for high-impact areas water.weather.gov 16

17 New Digital Information Products Planned: Soil Moisture and Evapotranspiration Added to Suite Local Information (<1 km 2 ) Summit-to-Sea Water Resources Products Precipitation Snowpack Soil Moisture Evapotranspiration Groundwater River flow Surface Storage Water Quality Pilot Products - Snowpack Snowfall Snow Depth Water Content Snow Temperature Watershed to National Information USGS WaterSMART Initiative IWRSS Forecasts Past Present Future Snowmelt 17

18 Improved System Interoperability and Data Synchronization Observations/Data (Databases) Models/Tools Reservoir Forecasts USACE Corps Water Management System (CWMS) USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) Observations/Data (Databases) Models/Tools Observations/Data (Databases) Models/Tools River/Flood Forecasts NWS Community Hydrologic Prediction System (CHPS) 18

19 National Water Center Planned Water Resources Services 24x7 Operations and Support Coverage Sector-Specific, Service-Based Focal Points at Full Operating Capacity Improved River Forecasts, and High-Resolution (i.e.,.5 km, hourly), National Summit-to- Sea Water Resources Analyses and Forecasts Dynamic Flood Inundation Mapping National Snow and Soil Moisture Data Acquisition and Satellite Data Processing Common Operating Picture, Multi-Agency System Interoperability, and Enterprise Geo- Intelligence for Enhanced Decision Support National Integrated Web-based Information Portal National Data Archive Service Backup for River Forecast Centers Development Proving Ground to Leverage Federal Agency Investments and Accelerate Research to Operations

20 Summary TOO MUCH POOR QUALITY TOO LITTLE IWRSS provides a framework for Federal agencies to enhance collaboration and leverage resources to address critical stakeholder needs The NWC will be the first waterfocused national center for collaborative research, coordinated operational water resources forecasts, adaptive planning, integrated water resource management, and decision support 20

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