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Enhancing The NWS Role In The Provision Of Water Resources Forecasts And Information:  Developing Water Resources Services for the 21 st Century. August 11, 2010. Outline. Why are we doing this? What did we look at? What are we recommending? Why are we recommending this option?.

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august 11 2010

Enhancing The NWS Role In The Provision Of Water Resources Forecasts And Information:  Developing Water Resources Servicesfor the 21st Century

August 11, 2010

  • Why are we doing this?
  • What did we look at?
  • What are we recommending?
  • Why are we recommending this option?
why are we doing this
Why are we doing this?
  • NWS Strategic Plan
    • Deliver a broader suite of improved water services to support management of the Nation’s water supply
  • NOAA Strategic plan
    • Improved water resource management
  • Chartered by Corporate Board to address current water issues and future water resources service gaps
what did we look at
What Did We Look At?

Evaluated water service gaps from Corporate Board presentation and charter:

River Forecasting gaps

Water Resource Forecasting gaps

Observing System gaps

Future gaps and objectives (e.g. common operating picture, WRPS, archive, test bed)

Evaluated options:

Take no action,

Add resources and functions to augment existing organizations, or

Create a national water support center

team s evaluation criteria
Team’s Evaluation Criteria
  • Centralized functions
    • Economy of scale; gain superior benefits from critical concentration of subject matter experts
    • Requires national coordination or production
    • Efficiency from automation of routine processing
  • Localized functions
    • Requires local or unique knowledge or expertise
    • Requires coordination with local users or partners
  • Relationship of national center to field offices similar to HPC, TPC, or SPC to WFOs and RFCs
options considered
Options Considered
  • 1- Status Quo
    • No addition or improvement of services without loss of current services
    • Existing gaps remain
  • 2 - Augment national and local offices
    • Augmenting local offices does not provide critical concentration of expertise to address gaps
    • Scope of gaps far exceeds capability of any existing national entity(s)
  • 3 - Create national Water Support Center
    • Would provide needed support for tasks that benefit from centralized functions
    • Would not address the need to augment field offices


what are we recommending
What are we recommending?
  • Recommended option combines features of 2 & 3
  • Enhance local and regional office components to provide local knowledge, expertise and collaboration
  • Reorganize OHD into Office of Water Resources
  • Enhance some existing national office components or incorporate within national center
  • Develop new major functional components within a national center
what are we recommending1
What are we recommending?
  • Enhance local and regional office components to provide local knowledge, expertise and collaboration
    • RFCs and WFOs
      • Products and services to meet the following gaps and objectives
        • Comprehensive suite of high-resolution water resources analysis and forecast products
        • River forecasting service gaps (e.g. low flow, uncertainty, complex hydrology, dynamic flood inundation
        • Water forecasting service gaps (e.g. coverage and variables outside of rivers, GIS-ready, decision support)
        • Observing system gaps
      • Expertise and resources to provide economic decision support services


what are we recommending2
What are we recommending?
  • Enhance national office components or incorporate within a national center
    • Water Resources Research and Development
      • Develop science and software tools to meet stakeholder requirements for water resources forecasts
    • Water Resources Services
      • Develop stakeholder contacts and establish more detaileduser requirements for water resources services, develop policy, prioritize development, and increase the focus on economic decision support. New subject matter expert skill sets will be needed including social scientist and communications specialist, water law specialist, economic specialist, and education specialist.
    • Water Resources Operational Support and Training
      • Serve as first line responder for all queries from WFOs and RFCs related to the data and application software used in the development and provision of river, flood, and water resources forecasts.


what are we recommending3
What are we recommending?
  • Develop new major functional components within a national center
    • Operations Center
      • Provide operational production of a comprehensive suite of national high-resolution water resources analysis and forecast guidance products on a 24x7x365 basis
    • Proving Ground
      • Provide RFC test bed to support development and testing, RFC service backup, and provide faster water forecasting research to operations
    • Archive Facility
      • Provide central archival of key water resources data, products and services
    • Integrated Information Service
      • Develop telepresence for enhanced collaboration
      • Provide shared data services, geointelligence, and common operating picture for water resources


why are we recommending this option
Why are we recommending this option?

Only option that met evaluation criteria

Several gaps can be addressed through economy of scale

Concentration of subject matter experts provide focused critical mass to:

examine and develop appropriate water resources products and services

design and develop necessary infrastructure

examine science of water resource services not yet addressed

Local augmentation provides for

Use of local, unique knowledge & expertise

Coordination with local users or partners

Ability to transform RFCs to Water Resource Service Centers and to provide Water Resource Extension Agents to WFOs

relationships and roles wfos and rfcs
Relationships and Roles- WFOs and RFCs

WFOs maintain ownership of warning and hazard information services

RFCs maintain ownership of river and regional water resources product and information services

Field offices may provide local or unique subject matter expertise as visitors at WSC

Field offices play key roles in customer/partner outreach and training at the local level

WSC provides national scale water resource data and guidance products

WSC provides requirements, policy, science, system, and software development, testing, and support

WSC provides subject matter expertise to local offices and assists in training development


rfc evolution to water resources service center
RFC Evolution to Water Resources Service Center
  • Continue as local hydrology experts, providing river forecast products, services, and outreach
  • Calibrate and recalibrate high and low flow hydrologic models, using real time verification and post analysis to improve products and services
  • Use WSC guidance for soil moisture, vegetation, snow states, etc., as input to local high-resolution models to produce local/regional gridded forecasts of streamflow, water temperature, salinity, soil moisture, water quality, and other hydrometeorological variables for the Water Resources Product Suite (WRPS)
  • Provide hazard and economic decision support services
  • Expand partnerships with local and regional water resource organizations and agencies
relationships and roles ncep
Relationships and Roles - NCEP
  • WSC provides water resources guidance that involves an expert analyst interacting with national scale data and models
  • WSC uses NCEP products as input and tools (e.g. HPC QPF grids, CPC precipitation and temperature outlooks, EMC land surface and sub-surface elements)
  • Collaborative communications with source NCEP offices required
  • WSC products and other water resources data may be used by NCEP centers to improve related products
  • Major computational elements of WSC operational production may migrate to NCEP Central Operations on supercomputer
relationships and roles ocwws hsd
Relationships and Roles- OCWWS/HSD
  • Hydrologic Services Branch – focus of existing hydrologic programs, products and services
  • Water Resources Services Branch – begin developing stakeholder contacts to establish user requirements, develop policy, prioritize development, increase focus on economic decision support
  • Hydrologic Support Branch – operational support to field offices on existing hydrologic systems and software; expanded role with implementation of gridded water resource products and statistical ensemble models
relationships and roles ocwws
Relationships and Roles- OCWWS
  • Observations Division – hydrometeorological data and observation network requirements
  • Climate Services Division – linkages between hydrology, water resources, and climate
  • Operations and Requirements Division – systems interface requirements, communications infrastructure, change management
  • Training Division – hydrologic and water resources training development and delivery
  • Performance and Awareness Division – coordinated outreach and verification programs
relationships and roles office of the cio
Relationships and Roles – Office of the CIO
  • Enforce IT security
  • Collaborate on telepresence technology
  • Collaborate on RFC testbed and water resources archive system design, development, and implementation
  • Collaborate on interagency Common Operating Picture
relationships and roles ost
Relationships and Roles - OST
  • Collaborate on design, development and implementation of RFC test beds and water resources archive
  • Collaborate on telepresence technology
  • Collaborate on interagency Common Operating Picture
  • Water resources requirements in NWS system evolution
relationships and roles oos
Relationships and Roles - OOS
  • Incorporation of water resources requirements into the design, implementation, and management of operational observation systems
relationships and roles noaa
Relationships and Roles - NOAA
  • NOAA Regional Teams identify and exercise opportunities for collaboration in the summit-to-sea approach to water resources
  • NOAA National Ocean Service provides expertise on geographic and hydrographic survey techniques and data and on coastal and esturine interactions
  • NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service provides climatic and satellite data and expertise
  • NOAA Office of Ocean and Atmospheric Research works to move hydrometeorological science from research into operations
  • NOAA Climate Service works in impacts of climate and in climate data networks
  • NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service deals with environmental impacts to anadromous fish
why not an ncep center
Why Not an NCEP Center?
  • Some of the proposed WSC functions are currently being accomplished by, and the infrastructure and basic expertise is present within, portions of HQ and NOHRSC.
  • These activities will be expanded to do more
  • Thus, initial reorganization and expansion of HQ and NOHRSC to accomplish water resources duties would be more efficient than expanding any one of the NCEP centers or moving the WSC under NCEP.
  • The Water Support Center will rely heavily on collaborative relationships with external partners and agencies at both the local and national levels, and will focus on social impacts and economic decision support
why should hsd be part of owr
Why should HSD be part of OWR?
  • Hydrologic and meteorological services today focus on hazard information and decision support
  • Water resources services will focus on societal impacts and economic decision support, yet the linkages are close between quantity of water and its quality and value
  • Collaborative efforts with external partners supported within the existing structure will need to be enhanced and broadened to provide necessary water resource services in the new organization
  • Linkages between existing and emerging requirements, science, and technical development must be reinforced
  • The existing matrix management structure in hydrology and water resources should be formalized for efficiency
  • Team Charter to Evaluate Establishing a National Operational Water Support Center (WSC)
  • Integrated Water Forecasting: Beyond the AHPS: Critical gaps and the Way Forward; Don Cline, Corporate Board briefing, May 13, 2009
  • The NWS Integrated Water Science Plan (IWSP); Report of the NWS IWSP Team, Nov. 24, 2004
  • Integrated Water Resources Science and Services (IWRSS): An Integrated and Adaptive Roadmap for Operational Implementation; Don Cline (ed.), IWRSS Workshop Participants, Cross-Cutting Theme Teams for Human Dimensions and Technical Information Services, regional Case Study Contributors, DRAFT v1.1, Feb. 2009
  • Central United States Flooding of June 2008, NWS Service Assessment, December 2009
  • Flood Event in the Dakotas and Minnesota, principally the Red River of the North, March - April, 2009
  • RFC Operations Team Report, 2003