Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2014NC185B

Integrated Drought Management and Assessment Portal for the State of North Carolina

Institute: North Carolina
Year Established: 2014 Start Date: 2014-03-01 End Date: 2015-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $40,450

Principal Investigators: Sankarasubramanian Arumugam, Ryan Boyles, Tushar Sinha

Abstract: Despite the relative abundance of water in NC, increased demand at several counties makes the water supply systems vulnerable even under moderate drought conditions. Unless closely monitored using various sector-specific criteria, the impacts of droughts are progressive, persistent (>1 month) and pervasive over a larger area. Uncertainty in seasonal climate, competition among water uses and changing cropping patterns also pose significant challenges. Further, the existing NC drought management advisory council information system is primarily monitoring of current conditions rather than estimating future drought conditions. To address these challenges, the proposed drought management portal for the state of NC will encompass: • a prognostic approach that quantifies monthly to seasonal soil moisture and streamflow potential using NASA’s Land Information System (LIS) and climate forecasts. • an adaptive portal that automatically monitors the current and future drought conditions every week, updates the forecasts of soil moisture, inflow and reservoir storages every month and also assesses the forecast attributes past performance on a continuous basis. The proposed study for integrated drought management portal builds upon the fully automated inflow and storage forecasting portal for reservoir systems in NC (http://www.ncclimate. ncsu.edu/inflowforecast). In Year 1, the study will evaluate NASA’s LIS with climate forecasts from NOAA and other agencies to develop a suite of soil moisture and streamflow forecasts from multiple models over the entire state of NC. In Year 2, based on LIS and climate model simulations and forecasts, we intend to develop a range of drought management products (e.g., Palmer’s drought index) and also automate them with existing inflow and storage forecasting portal to develop an integrated drought management and assessment portal for NC. Findings from the study will also be presented in the weekly NC drought management council meetings as well as in the annual NC-WRRI and NCWRA conferences.