Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2017AL185B

Enhancing Seasonal Hydrological Forecasts in the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) River Basin using the North American Multi-Model Ensemble

Institute: Alabama
Year Established: 2017 Start Date: 2017-03-01 End Date: 2018-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $24,987 Total Non-Federal Funds: $49,997

Principal Investigators: Di Tian

Abstract: J. Identification and Statement of the major regional water problem: The magnitude of recent drought (Figure 1) exacerbates water management problems of rivers and lakes in Alabama ranging from insufficient water supplies for agricultural production and environmental integrity, to reduced capacity of hydropower facilities. For example, lakes and dams in Alabama control hydroelectric power supplies,which consist of 75% of Alabama's electricity generation from renewable resources (U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2016). The water budget of those lakes is strongly influenced by precipitation, evaporation, and river inflow to the lakes. Inadequate rainfall, inflow, and increased evaporation will lead to water shortage in the lakes and reduce electrical power supply and downstream environmental flow. The exceptional drought conditions in Alabama have catalyzed demands for improving regional seasonal evaporation and streamflow forecasts (3 to 6 months in advance at monthly resolution) and propagating those improvements into operational lake level forecasts and forecast-based management planning.