The United States Bureau of Reclamation , and formerly the United States Reclamation Service , is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior, which oversees water resource management, specifically as it applies to the oversight and operation of the diversion, delivery, and storage projects that it has built throughout the western United States for irrigation, water supply, and attendant hydroelectric power generation. Currently USBR is the largest wholesaler of water in the country, bringing water to more than 31 million people, and providing one in five Western farmers with irrigation water for 10 million acres of farmland, which produce 60% of the nation's vegetables and 25% of its fruits and nuts. USBR is also the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the western United States.In July 1902, in accordance with the Reclamation Act, Secretary of the Interior Ethan Allen Hitchcock established the U.S. Reclamation Service within the U.S. Geological Survey . The new Reclamation Service studied potential water development projects in each western state with federal lands—revenue from sale of federal lands was the initial source of the program's funding. Because Texas had no federal lands, it did not become a Reclamation state until 1906, when Congress passed a special Act including it in the provisions of the Reclamation Act. Wikipedia.
News Article | April 20, 2017
"HELENA — A federal judge in Montana on Wednesday lifted his hold on a proposed irrigation dam and fish passage that U.S. officials say is the best hope to save an endangered ancient species of fish in the Yellowstone River. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris allowed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation to proceed with the $59 million project over arguments from wildlife and conservation groups that the new construction could make matters worse for the survival of the river's remaining pallid sturgeon. 'We feel that this approach is the best one for everyone affected, including the pallid sturgeon,' Corps of Engineers spokeswoman Jamie Danesi said." The Associated Press had the story April 19, 2017.
News Article | April 29, 2017
— The massive hydroelectric power station Hoover Dam is located in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River and was constructed when America was fighting the Great Depression, between 1931 and 1936. The dam was initially named Boulder Dam, but was later transformed into Hoover Dam in honor of President Herbert Hoover. California-based real estate expert and philanthropist Kenny Slaught acknowledges the impact of the miraculous architectural structure on the communities’ access to water and power resources. On his blog at KennySlaught.com, he emphasized that the massive water capacity of the dam had helped transform some of America’s most deserted outposts into fast growing economies. The lake formed in the Hoover Dam is called Lake Mead. The lake was named after the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Elwood Mead who led the planning and construction process during the Boulder Canyon Project implementation when the Hoover Dam and the lake was established. When first constructed in 1936, Lake Mead was first known as the Boulder Dam Recreation Area, which was then administrated by the National Park Service. In 1964, the lake was renamed into the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and has seen considerable expansion with Lake Mohave and the Shivwits Plateau being added to its authority. At its maximum water volume level, it could be the largest water reservoir in the United States. The lake Mead is the greatest water reservoir in the United States. At its maximal capacity, the lake has 112 miles long, 759 shoreline miles, 532 depth feet and the capacity of 26, 12 million acre-feet of water. Lake Mead provides water to the states of California, Nevada, and Arizona, serving more than 20 million people and agriculture zones. Kenny Slaught notes his incredible site, including both lakes and the surrounding area, offers year-round recreation options. Not only they serve as a water reserve, but the area also gives visitors a unique opportunity to do a variety of entertaining things, like fishing, swimming, boating, among many more. Founder of Investec Real Estate Companies, Kenny Slaught has been in the industry for more than four decades. A dedicated investment strategist, he manages more than 3 million square feet of property throughout California. With total transactions valued above $1.2 billion, Investec has grown to become one of Santa Barbara’s leading real estate firms. An avid philanthropist, Mr. Slaught is involved with many non-profit and community organizations, including Hospice of Santa Barbara, the Music Academy of the West. Contributing to the benefit of youth in the area, he dedicates considerable time to these and other worthy causes. For more information, please visit http://www.KennySlaughtNews.com
News Article | April 26, 2017
— On the frontiers between Arizona and Nevada, lies the country’s main symbol of human labour, unity and architectural perseverance - the Hoover Dam. Taking from the energy potential of the Colorado River, the Dam serves as the primary source of water and hydroelectric energy to a significantly large population group residing in the surrounding region. California-based real estate expert and thoughtful philanthropist Kenny Slaught acknowledges the impact of the miraculous architectural structure on the communities’ access to water and power resources. Slaught has recently talked about Hoover Dam on his blog at KennySlaught.com, emphasizing that the massive water capacity of the dam had help transform some of America’s most deserted outposts into fast growing economies, The landmark structure was built during the American Great Depression period, between 1931 and 1936, costing the government $49 million dollars. The dam was initially named Boulder Dam, but was later transformed into Hoover Dam in honor of the then-President Herbert Hoover, who had made significant contributions to the construction of this prodigious project. With 221 meters in height, 379 meters in length, and more than 35.000 cubic kilometers of total capacity, the colossal structure could generate more than 4,2 billion kWh2 per year. Inside the wall of the dam, the engines room is appointed with 17 generators that produce all the energy, where 16 of them are large generators while two smaller ones operate as one single generator. These last ones are used to provide hydroelectric energy to surrounding communities. Kenny Slaught notes that the energy generated from the dam is allocated across 15 areas. Among the biggest energy consumers, Southern California takes up to 28% of Hoover Dam’s energy, followed by the State of Nevada with 23% and the State of Arizona with 18% of consumption volume. The dam also provides energy to Native American tribes located in the area. Additionally, 90% Las Vegas’ water comes from Hoover Dam. The lake formed in the dam is called Lake Mead. At its maximum water volume level, it could be the largest water reservoir in the United States. Currently, the Hoover Dam is managed by the United States Bureau of Reclamation and it is considered one of the most breathtaking must-go places to visit in the country. Founder of Investec Real Estate Companies, Kenny Slaught has been in the industry for more than four decades. A dedicated investment strategist, he manages more than 3 million square feet of property throughout California. With total transactions valued above $1.2 billion, Investec has grown to become one of Santa Barbara’s leading real estate firms. An avid philanthropist, Mr. Slaught is involved with many non-profit and community organizations, including Hospice of Santa Barbara, the Music Academy of the West. Contributing to the benefit of youth in the area, he dedicates considerable time to these and other worthy causes. For more information, please visit http://www.KennySlaughtNews.com
News Article | July 11, 2017
STRATHAM, N.H., July 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Visible Assets, Inc. (Visible ®) Stratham, NH, has completed installation and a contract for "Weapons And Equipment Tracking System," a secure, automated armory as specified in RFQ# R16PS01283 by the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation). The...
News Article | May 23, 2017
President Donald Trump proposed a $1.097 billion Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget for the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation. The budget supports the Administration’s and Interior’s goals of ensuring the efficient generation of American energy, provision of secure water supplies, varied use of resources, celebration of America’s recreation opportunities and fulfilling commitments to tribal nations. “President Trump promised the American people he would cut wasteful spending and make the government work for the taxpayer again, and that's exactly what this budget does,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “Working carefully with the President, we identified areas where we could reduce spending and also areas for investment, such as addressing the maintenance backlog in our National Parks and increasing domestic energy production on federal lands. The budget also allows the Department to return to the traditional principles of multiple-use management to include both responsible natural resource development and conservation of special places. Being from the West, I've seen how years of bloated bureaucracy and D.C.-centric policies hurt our rural communities. The President's budget saves taxpayers by focusing program spending, shrinking bureaucracy, and empowering the front lines." As the nation’s largest wholesale water supplier and second-largest producer of hydroelectric power, Reclamation’s projects and programs are an important driver of economic growth in the western States. Its mission is to manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public. Reclamation manages water for agricultural, municipal and industrial uses, and provides flood risk reduction and recreation for millions of people. “President Trump’s budget for Reclamation shows his strong commitment to our mission of managing water and producing hydropower in the West,” Acting Commissioner Alan Mikkelsen said. “Reclamation’s infrastructure needs are also high in priority to keep dams safe for the public they serve.” Reclamation's expenditures are offset by current receipts in the Central Valley Project Restoration Fund of $41 million, resulting in net discretionary budget authority of $1.056 billion. The budget proposal for permanent appropriations in FY18 totals $97.5 million. The proposal for Reclamation’s Water and Related Resources account of $960.0 million provides for five major program activities: Water and Energy Management and Development ($313.7 million), Land Management and Development ($44.2 million), Fish and Wildlife Management and Development ($153.0 million), Facility Operations ($296.0 million), and Facility Maintenance and Rehabilitation ($153.2 million). The funding proposed in Reclamation’s FY18 budget supports key programs important to the 17 Western States. It emphasizes Reclamation's core mission of reliable water delivery and hydropower generation to address the water demands of a growing population in an environmentally responsible and cost-efficient manner; and to assist states, tribes and local entities in solving water resource issues. It also emphasizes the operation and maintenance of Reclamation facilities in a safe, efficient, economic and reliable manner — ensuring systems and safety measures are in place to protect the public and Reclamation facilities. The budget also supports water rights settlements to ensure sufficient resources to address the requirements of legislation passed by Congress to settle litigation. The request includes amounts for specific Indian water rights settlements that support tribal nations, including the newly enacted Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement. The FY18 budget will continue to support and emphasize activities designed to prevent and combat the infestation of quagga and zebra mussels across Reclamation states. These invasive species are rapidly reproducing and have infested multiple operational areas of Reclamation facilities, impacting pumping capabilities for power and water operations, blocking water intake structures and affecting the ecosystems by feeding off existing algae resulting in a shift in native species and a disruption of the ecological balance. Research is continuing to find ways to impede the quagga and zebra mussels’ populations. Increased funding in FY18 will support Reclamation mussels’ activities framework established in the Quagga–Zebra Mussel Action Plan (QZAP) for Western U.S. Waters. This work is being pursued in close cooperation with the Western Governors Association, and includes a focus on working with states and tribes to keep invasive mussels from infecting the Columbia River Basin in the Pacific Northwest. Reclamation’s dams, water conveyances and power generating facilities are critical components of the Nation’s infrastructure. Effectively managing these structures is among the many significant challenges facing Reclamation over the next several years and beyond. Reclamation’s FY18 budget reflects a very deliberate approach to addressing mission priorities. Tribal Nations – Within Water and Related Resources in FY18, Reclamation is requesting a total of $151.3 million to support tribal nations’ efforts and initiatives. To meet Interior’s trust and treaty obligations, Reclamation’s budget request sets Indian water rights settlements among the highest priorities. In FY18, $98.6 million is requested for the Indian water rights settlements authorized under several legislative statutes, including the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 and the newly enacted Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016. This includes funding of $67.8 million for the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, $12.8 million for the Crow Tribe Water Rights Settlement, $8.0 million for the Aamodt Litigation Settlement, and $10.0 million for the Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement. The funding for the Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement represents Reclamation’s first contribution towards meeting its required contribution of $246.5 million by January 2025. In addition to requesting funding consistent with current activity, these settlements will draw on available mandatory funding to continue project activities. In FY18, the discretionary funds are requested within Water and Related Resources, as opposed to a separate appropriations account as requested in prior years. Funding to support tribal nations is also included within a number of projects, including the Mni Wiconi Project for the required tribal operation and maintenance ($13.5 million), the Nez Perce Settlement within Columbia and Snake River Salmon Recovery Project ($7.1 million), the San Carlos Apache Tribe Water Settlement Act ($1.6 million) and the Ak Chin Indian Water Rights Settlement Act ($16.2 million). Other aspects of the FY18 budget proposal include: Central Valley Project Restoration Fund – This fund was established by the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, Title XXXIV of P.L. 102-575, Oct. 30, 1992. The budget of $41.4 million is expected to be offset by discretionary receipts totaling $41.4 million, which is the maximum amount that can be collected from project beneficiaries under provisions of Section 3407(d) of the Act. The discretionary receipts are adjusted on an annual basis to maintain payments totaling $30 million (October 1992 price levels) on a three-year rolling average basis. The budget of $41.4 million for the CVPRF was developed after considering the effects of the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act (P.L. 111-11, March 30, 2009) which redirects certain fees, estimated at $2 million in FY 2018, collected from the Friant Division water users to the San Joaquin Restoration Fund. Dam Safety Program – The safety and reliability of Reclamation dams is one of Reclamation’s highest priorities. The Dam Safety Program is critical to effectively manage risks to the downstream public, property, project, and natural resources. The budget of $88.1 million for the Safety of Dams Evaluation and Modification Program provides for risk management activities at Reclamation’s high and significant hazard dams where loss of life or significant economic damage would likely occur if the dam were to fail. The budget also includes preconstruction and construction activities for several ongoing and planned Dam Safety modifications. In addition, funding is included in the budget for Interior’s Dam Safety Program, which Reclamation oversees. Desalination and Water Purification Research Program – This program supports desalination research, development and demonstrations for the purpose of converting unusable waters into useable water supplies. The FY18 request of $2.9 million supports new and continued projects in the three funding areas: laboratory scale research studies, pilot-scale testing projects and full-scale testing projects. Funding also supports the operation and maintenance of Reclamation’s Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility, which supports testing of pilot-scale and full-scale testing projects, as well as potentially supporting work from Cooperative Research and Development Agreements that are in development, including one focused on produced waters from oil and gas extraction activities. Science and Technology Program – The FY18 request at $11.1 million supports continued science and technology projects, water and power technology prize competitions, technology transfer, and dissemination/outreach activities addressing critical water and power management technical obstacles in water management, hydropower generation, infrastructure management and environmental compliance. The S&T Program also continues to develop improved methods for monitoring, detection and control of invasive mussels that continue to spread in the West, infesting Reclamation dams, power plants, and facilities of other water providers. The Site Security program – The budget will continue Reclamation’s ongoing site-security program at $26.2 million, which includes physical security upgrades at key facilities, guards and patrols, anti-terrorism program activities and security risk assessments. WaterSMART Program – The President’s proposed budget for Reclamation calls for $59.1 million for the WaterSMART Program — Sustain and Manage America’s Resources for Tomorrow — to assist communities in optimizing the use of water supplies by improving water management. The WaterSMART Program components include: WaterSMART Grants funded at $23.4 million; Basin Studies Program, $5.2 million; Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program, $21.5 million; Water Conservation Field Service program, $4.0 million; Cooperative Watershed Management program, $1.75 million; and the Drought Response program, $3.25 million. The Bureau of Reclamation, throughout the 17 western states, is committed to helping meet the many water and power challenges of the West. Reclamation’s water and hydropower projects and activities throughout the western United States are a foundation for essential and safe water supplies, providing renewable hydropower energy and sustaining ecosystems supporting fish and wildlife, recreation and rural economies. To view Reclamation’s budget request, see http://www.usbr.gov/budget.
News Article | May 12, 2017
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced that the Bureau of Reclamation awarded $23,619,391 to communities in seven states for planning, designing and constructing water recycling and re-use projects; developing feasibility studies; and researching desalination and water recycling projects. The funding is part of the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse program. "This funding provides essential tools for stretching limited water supplies by helping communities reclaim and reuse wastewater and impaired ground or surface waters,” said Secretary Zinke. “These tools are just part of the toolkit for bridging the gap between water supply and demand and thus making water supplies more drought-resistant. In addition to this funding, Reclamation is actively supporting state and local partners in their efforts to boost water storage capacity." Title XVI Authorized Projects are authorized by Congress and receive funding for planning, design and/or construction activities on a project-specific basis. Six projects will receive $20,980,129. They are: ● City of Pasadena Water and Power Department (California), Pasadena Non-Potable Water Project, Phase I, $2,000,000 ● City of San Diego (California), San Diego Area Water Reclamation Program, $4,200,000 ● Hi-Desert Water District (California), Hi-Desert District Wastewater Reclamation Project, $4,000,000 ● Inland Empire Utilities Agency (California), Lower Chino Dairy Area Desalination and Reclamation Project, $5,199,536 ● Padre Dam Municipal Water District (California), San Diego Area Water Reclamation Program, $3,900,000 ● Santa Clara Valley Water District (California), South Santa Clara County Recycled Water Project, $1,680,593 Title XVI Feasibility Studies are for entities that would like to develop new water reclamation and reuse feasibility studies. Thirteen projects will receive $1,791,561. They are: ● City of Ada Public Works Authority (Oklahoma), Reuse Feasibility Study for the City of Ada, Oklahoma, $136,193 ● City of Bartlesville (Oklahoma), Feasibility Study to Augment Bartlesville Water Supply with Drought-Resilient Reclaimed Water, $150,000 ● City of Garden City (Kansas), Strategic Plan for Reuse Effluent Water Resources in Garden City, Kansas, and Vicinity, $65,368 ● City of Quincy (Washington), Quincy 1 Water Resource Management Improvement Feasibility Study for Comprehensive Wastewater Reuse and Water Supply Project, $150,000 ● El Paso Water Utilities - Public Services Board (Texas), Aquifer Storage-Recovery with Reclaimed Water to Preserve Hueco Bolson using Enhanced Arroyo Infiltration for Wetlands, and Secondary Reducing Local Power Plant Reclaimed Water Demand, $150,000 ● Kitsap County (Washington), Feasibility Study for a comprehensive water reuse project at the Kitsap County Kingston Wastewater Treatment Plant, $150,000. ● Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (California), Pure Water Project Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, $150,000 ● North Alamo Water Supply Corporation (Texas), Feasibility Study of Energy-Efficient Alternatives for Brackish Groundwater Desalination for the North Alamo Water Supply Corporation, $90,000 ● Oklahoma Water Resources Board (Oklahoma), Feasibility Study of Potential Impacts of Select Alternative Produced Water Management and Reuse Scenarios, $150,000 ● Soquel Creek Water District (California), Pure Water Soquel - Replenishing Mid-County Groundwater with Groundwater with Purified Recycled Water, $150,000 ● Valley Center Municipal Water District (California), Lower Moosa Canyon Wastewater Recycling, Reuse, and sub-regional Brine Disposal Project, $150,000 ● Washoe County (Nevada), Northern Nevada Indirect Potable Reuse Feasibility Study, $150,000 ● Weber Basin Water Conservancy District (Utah), Weber Basin Water Conservancy District Reuse Feasibility Study, $150,000 The Title XVI Program will provide funding for research to establish or expand water reuse markets, improve or expand existing water reuse facilities, and streamline the implementation of clean water technology at new facilities. Four projects will receive $847,701. They are: ● City of San Diego (California), Demonstrating Innovative Control of Biological Fouling of Microfiltration/Ultrafiltration and Reverse Osmosis Membranes and Enhanced Chemical and Energy Efficiency in Potable Water, $300,000 ● City of San Diego (California), Site-Specific Analytical Testing of RO Brine Impacts to the Treatment Process, $48,526 ● Kansas Water Office (Kansas), Pilot Test Project for Produced Water near Hardtner, Kansas, $199,175 ● Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (California), Pure Water Project Las Virgenes-Truinfo Demonstration Project, $300,000 Reclamation provides funding through the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program for projects that reclaim and reuse municipal, industrial, domestic or agricultural wastewater and naturally impaired ground or surface waters. Reclaimed water can be used for a variety of purposes, such as environmental restoration, fish and wildlife, groundwater recharge, municipal, domestic, industrial, agricultural, power generation or recreation. Since 1992, Title XVI funding has been used to provide communities with new sources of clean water, while promoting water and energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. In that time, approximately $672 million in federal funding has been leveraged with non-federal funding to implement more than $3.3 billion in water reuse improvements. To learn more about Title XVI and these awards, please visit https://www.usbr.gov/watersmart/title.
News Article | May 11, 2017
BOULDER, Colo. -- Since the mid-1980s, the percentage of precipitation that becomes streamflow in the Upper Rio Grande watershed has fallen more steeply than at any point in at least 445 years, according to a new study led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). While this decline was driven in part by the transition from an unusually wet period to an unusually dry period, rising temperatures deepened the trend, the researchers said. The study paints a detailed picture of how temperature has affected the runoff ratio -- the amount of snow and rain that actually makes it into the river -- over time, and the findings could help improve water supply forecasts for the Rio Grande, which is a source of water for an estimated 5 million people. The study results also suggest that runoff ratios in the Upper Rio Grande and other neighboring snow-fed watersheds, such as the Colorado River Basin, could decline further as the climate continues to warm. "The most important variable for predicting streamflow is how much it has rained or snowed," said NCAR scientist Flavio Lehner, lead author of the study. "But when we looked back hundreds of years, we found that temperature has also had an important influence -- which is not currently factored into water supply forecasts. We believe that incorporating temperature in future forecasts will increase their accuracy, not only in general but also in the face of climate change." The study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, was funded by the Bureau of Reclamation, Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and National Science Foundation, which is NCAR's sponsor. Co-authors of the paper are Eugene Wahl, of NOAA; Andrew Wood, of NCAR; and Douglas Blatchford and Dagmar Llewellyn, both of the Bureau of Reclamation. Born in the Rocky Mountains of southern Colorado, the Rio Grande cuts south across New Mexico before hooking east and forming the border between Texas and Mexico. Snow piles up on the peaks surrounding the headwaters throughout the winter, and in spring the snowpack begins to melt and feed the river. The resulting streamflow is used both by farmers and cities, including Albuquerque, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, and water users depend on the annual water supply forecasts to determine who gets how much of the river. The forecast is also used to determine whether additional water needs to be imported from the San Juan River, on the other side of the Continental Divide, or pumped from groundwater. Current operational streamflow forecasts depend on estimates of the amount of snow and rain that have fallen in the basin, and they assume that a particular amount of precipitation and snowpack will always yield a particular amount of streamflow. In recent years, those forecasts have tended to over-predict how much water will be available, leading to over-allocation of the river. In an effort to understand this changing dynamic, Lehner and his colleagues investigated how the relationship between precipitation and streamflow, known as the runoff ratio, has evolved over time. Precipitation vs. streamflow: Tree rings tell a new story The scientists used tree ring-derived streamflow data from outside of the Upper Rio Grande basin to reconstruct estimates of precipitation within the watershed stretching back to 1571. Then they combined this information with a separate streamflow reconstruction within the basin for the same period. Because these two reconstructions were independent, it allowed the research team to also estimate runoff ratio for each year: the higher the ratio, the greater the share of precipitation that was actually converted into streamflow. "For the first time, we were able to take these two quantities and use them to reconstruct runoff ratios over the past 445 years," Wahl said. They found that the runoff ratio varies significantly from year to year and even decade to decade. The biggest factor associated with this variation was precipitation. When it snows less over the mountains in the headwaters of the Rio Grande, not only is less water available to become streamflow, but the runoff ratio also decreases. In other words, a smaller percentage of the snowpack becomes streamflow during drier years. But the scientists also found that another factor affected the runoff ratio: temperature. Over the last few centuries, the runoff ratio was reduced when temperatures were warmer. And the influence of temperature strengthened during drier years: When the snowpack was shallow, warm temperatures reduced the runoff ratio more than when the snowpack was deep, further exacerbating drought conditions. The low runoff ratios seen in dry years were two and a half to three times more likely when temperatures were also warmer. "The effect of temperature on runoff ratio is relatively small compared to precipitation," Lehner said. "But because its greatest impact is when conditions are dry, a warmer year can make an already bad situation much worse." A number of factors may explain the influence of temperature on runoff ratio. When it's warmer, plants take up more water from the soil and more water can evaporate directly into the air. Additionally, warmer temperatures can lead snow to melt earlier in the season, when the days are shorter and the angle of the sun is lower. This causes the snow to melt more slowly, allowing the meltwater to linger in the soil and giving plants added opportunity to use it. The extensive reconstruction of historical runoff ratio in the Upper Rio Grande also revealed that the decline in runoff ratio over the last three decades is unprecedented in the historical record. The 1980s were an unusually wet period for the Upper Rio Grande, while the 2000s and 2010s have been unusually dry. Pair that with an increase in temperatures over the same period, and the decline in runoff ratio between 1986 and 2015 was unlike any other stretch of that length in the last 445 years. This new understanding of how temperature influences runoff ratio could help improve water supply forecasts, which do not currently consider whether the upcoming months are expected to be hotter or cooler than average. The authors are now assessing the value of incorporating seasonal temperature forecasts into water supply forecasts to account for these temperature influences. The study complements a multi-year NCAR project funded by the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers that is evaluating prospects for enhancing seasonal streamflow forecasts for reservoir management. "Forecast users and stakeholders are increasingly raising questions about the reliability of forecasting techniques if climate is changing our hydrology," said Wood, who led the effort. "This study helps us think about ways to upgrade one of our oldest approaches -- statistical water supply forecasting -- to respond to recent trends in temperature. Our current challenge is to find ways to make sure the lessons of this work can benefit operational streamflow forecasts." Because the existing forecasting models were calibrated on conditions in the late 1980s and 1990s, it's not surprising that they over-predicted streamflow in the drier period since 2000, Lehner said. "These statistical models often assume that the climate is stable," Lehner said. "It's an assumption that sometimes works, but statistical forecasting techniques will struggle with any strong changes in hydroclimatology from decade to decade, such as the one we have just experienced." Lehner is a Postdoc Applying Climate Expertise (PACE) fellow, which is part of the Cooperative Programs for the Advancement of Earth System Science (CPAESS). CPAESS is a community program of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). UCAR manages NCAR under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Title: Assessing recent declines in Upper Rio Grande River runoff efficiency from a paleoclimate perspective Authors: Flavio Lehner, Eugene R. Wahl, Andrew W. Wood, Douglas B. Blatchford, and Dagmar Llewellyn Journal: Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1002/2017GL073253
Lai Y.G.,Bureau of Reclamation
Journal of Hydraulic Engineering | Year: 2010
An unstructured hybrid mesh numerical method is developed to simulate open channel flows. The method is applicable to arbitrarily shaped mesh cells and offers a framework to unify many mesh topologies into a single formulation. A finite-volume discretization is applied to the two-dimensional depth-averaged equations such that mass conservation is satisfied both locally and globally. An automatic wetting-drying procedure is incorporated in conjunction with a segregated solution procedure that chooses the water surface elevation as the main variable. The method is applicable to both steady and unsteady flows and covers the entire flow range: subcritical, transcritical, and supercritical. The proposed numerical method is well suited to natural river flows with a combination of main channels, side channels, bars, floodplains, and in-stream structures. Technical details of the method are presented, verification studies are performed using a number of simple flows, and a practical natural river is modeled to illustrate issues of calibration and validation. © 2010 ASCE.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Contract Interagency Agreement | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 553.00K | Year: 2014
Agency: NSF | Branch: Contract Interagency Agreement | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 400.00K | Year: 2012