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Project ID:2006NC65B

Title: Improved Water Management Strategies for the Neuse basin Utilizing Climate-Information based Probabilistic Streamflow Forecasts

Project Type: Research

Start Date: 03/01/2006

End Date: 02/28/2007

Congressional District: 2

Focus Categories: Water Quantity, Floods, Drought

Keywords: Hydroclimatology, Hydrological Forecasting, Watershed Management, Risk Analysis, Climate, Decision Models, Flood Control, Multi-Objective Planning, Optimization, Reservoir Modeling, Systems Analysis

Principal Investigator: Arumugam, Sankarasubramanian (North Carolina State University)

Federal Funds: $ 22,212

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 44,423

Abstract: A strategy to improve water allocation in the Neuse basin is proposed by developing a seamless integration climate-information based treamflow forecasts into water systems planning (3 months to 6 months) and operation. The proposed research will develop long-lead probabilistic streamflow forecasts in the Neuse basin contingent on both local land-surface and exogenous climatic conditions. Retrospective streamflow forecasts will be combined with a reservoir management model to understand the utility of streamflow forecasts in operating the Falls Dam. With the decadal variability in the tropical Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature (above-normal conditions) resulting in more hurricanes, it is imperative to develop a prognostic approach for water management in the Neuse basin given the basin accounts for 22% of state's population. Such an approach based on climate information could help water managers to prepare well in advance to reduce the impacts resulting from hydroclimatic extremes.

Three specific objectives are encompassed in the proposed study: (a) Development of a climate-information based streamflow forecasting model (b) Perform retrospective analyses on the utility of climate forecasts in improving Falls Lake operation (c) Dissemination of results from the analyses with various state agencies that coordinate waterrelated activities in the Neuse basin. Benefits/Information from this project will support other ongoing activities in the Neuse including Neuse river basin planning program (supported by DENR), National Water Quality Assessment Program (supported by USGS) and NC Drought Monitoring (supported by Division of water resources, DENR) in coordination with the state's climate office. Analyses from this research will also promote identification of alternate river basin management plans during critical drought conditions including conjunctive use, instream flow maintenance and estuaries management. Informative web portal will de developed that summarizes the hydroclimatic predictability of the Neuse basin as well as updates of streamflow potential for the seasons ahead. Potential implications and its relevance to several ongoing researches in the Neuse basin will include quantitative representation of uncertainty in streamflows to support TMDL process, development of seasonal water management plans considering conjunctive use for the coastal zone and prediction outlooks for floods and droughts. We envisage that this effort for Neuse basin will motivate other basins in NC to incorporate to follow a prognostic, climate-information driven approach towards water management.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Thursday, May 28, 2009
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