Letter of Intent for Accounting Research - PDF

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					 Developing and Implementing a Regional Drought Decision Support System
              (RDDSS) for the Red River Basin of the North
                                (A Transferable NIDIS Template)

                                        September 2008



Principal Investigator:

Charles Fritz, Director, International Water Institute, 1301 12th Ave N, Box 5057, Fargo, ND
58105, Phone: 701.231.9747, Fax: 701.231.5613, Email: Charles.Fritz@ndsu.edu

Submitted by:

International Water Institute, 1301 12th Ave N, Box 5057, Fargo, ND 58105, Phone:
701.231.9747

Institutional Representative:

Charles Fritz, Executive Director, International Water Institute, 1301 12th Ave N, Box 5057,
Fargo, ND 58105, Phone: 701.231.9747, Fax: 701.231.5613, Email: Charles.Fritz@ndsu.edu

Contractor:

Dr. Mark Deutschman, Houston Engineering, Inc., Suite 140, 6901 East Fish Lake Road, Maple
Grove, MN 55369, Phone: 763-493-4522, Email: mdeutschman@houstonengineeringinc.com

In Association With:

National Weather Service (NWS), North Central River Forecast Center (NCRFC), c/o Mr. Scott
Dummer, 1733 Lake Drive West, Chanhassen, MN 55317-8581, Phone: 952-361-6650, Email:
Scott.Dummer@noaa.gov

Applicable Program Competition:

Primary – FY09 Proposal: Sector Applications Research Program (SARP: Water Resources and
Drought Management)
Secondary - Climate and Water Resources Management; Climate Dynamics and Experimental
Prediction (CDPE); Climate Prediction Program for the Americas (CPPA); Regional Integrated
Sciences and Assessments (RISA)

Anticipated Federal Funding Requested:

$298,354
                                               1
ABSTRACT

Regional Drought Decision Support System (RDDSS) for the Red River of the North Basin

Principal Investigator: Charles Fritz

Institution: International Water Institute

Total Proposed Cost: $298,354

Project Duration: 2009 – 2010

        Drought is a pervasive and perennial problem in the United States and elsewhere.
Economic impact from drought within the United States is substantial. Mitigating damages from
drought requires developing technically feasible methods and techniques which can be
implemented operationally, to accurately forecast drought and convey these forecasts in near-real
time to affected stakeholders. The Regional Drought Decision Support System (RDDSS) aims at
incorporating methods and techniques developed by the National Weather Service research and
operational staff to communicate drought risk to diverse stakeholder groups. This project will
develop and use drought forecast products to communicate risk for agricultural producers and
water supply users. Project proposers and partners will develop methods to use soil moisture
forecasts initially at the subwatershed scale and ultimately on a fine grid scale (i.e., 2-km) and to
operationally predict stream flow to generate drought-related products. The products will be
disseminated to the public through an existing regional decision support system for the Red
River Basin of the North (see www.rrbdin.org). This effort cohesively fits as a regional drought
application which can be integrated into the National Integrated Drought Information System
(NIDIS) efforts.

        The proposed project consists of three phases. Phase I focuses on using information from
the existing lumped parameter Sacramento Soil Moisture Accounting Model (SAC-SMA) -
operated by the North Central River Forecast Center (NCRFC) for the entire U.S. portion of the
Red River of the North Basin - to develop a drought products and tools to communicate drought
risk. Parameters and derived variables will be extracted from the SAC-SMA model (e.g., soil
moisture) at the subwatershed scale, using software code generated by the project. These
parameters and derived variables will then be used to prepare statistical summaries of runoff
volumes and drought indices for communicating drought risk. Phase 1 will develop drought
forecast products and evaluate their effectiveness on communicating drought risk to agricultural
producers and water supply users. A Steering Committee of local, regional, state, and national
stakeholders will be assembled to assist with evaluating and refining the approach to convey
drought risk.

         Phase II consists of comparing the geometric spatial scales necessary to effectively model
and route low flows through the Red River of the North using unsteady HEC-RAS within the
operational environment of the NCRFC. Accurate elevation and timing data are need in order to
link to the various drought emergency response plans developed by industries and communities
along the Red River and asses risk to intake structures and storage reservoirs. The drought
products developed in Phase 1 will also be updated from results of the modeling in phase 2.
                                                 2
        The third and final phase envisions implementing the recommendations resulting from
the Distributed Model Inter-comparison Project (DMIP 1 and 2)
(http://www.nws.noaa.gov/oh/hrl/dmip/intro.html) while deploying a distributed SAC-SMA
model to the Red River of the North Basin. Drought statistical summaries and indices developed
during Phase I will now be presented at the fine grid scale represented within the distributed
parameter SAC-SMA model. The drought products will also be updated from results of the
modeling in phase 3.

         This effort builds upon established public and private partnerships - which began with the
initial funding and development of the Red River Basin Decision Information Network by the
International Joint Commission - and continue with implementation of the Flood Forecast
Display Tool and the Red River Basin Mapping Initiative.

       The project team will work closely with a Steering Committee comprised of local and
regional stakeholders and NWS staff to develop effective drought forecast products. The
Steering Committee will include representatives from irrigated agriculture, the Western States
Water Council, the Bureau of Reclamation, NIDIS, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, water
suppliers, the National Weather Service, local municipalities and water managers, and the state
water management agencies from North Dakota and Minnesota.




                                                3
RESULTS FROM PRIOR RESEARCH

       Prior to developing this proposal the project team conducted a review of relative prior
research that will be used in developing products and methods to complete this project. A
summary of the relative research and background information review is provided below.

        The development and operational implementation of a regional soil moisture accounting
application for the Red River Basin and a probabilistic hydrologic model to forecast discharge
preceding and during low flow and drought periods will be the technical basis for products
delivered to the RDDSS. The web products developed through this research effort will be
delivered to the RDDSS using the existing Red River Basin Decision Information Network
(RRBDIN – see www.rrbdin.org), the same tool used to successfully implement the Flood
Forecast Display Tool under a recently completed NWS grant #NA05NWS546221012.

        The National Weather Service (NWS) River Forecast Centers (RFC) is currently
transitioning their forecast modeling and planning to move toward the use of distributed
hydrologic modeling using the Sacramento Soil Moisture Accounting Model (SAC-SMA) for
operational hydrological forecasts (see Reed et al., Distributed Modeling for Improved NWS
River Forecasts, Office of Hydrologic Development, NWS). The SAC-SMA requires soil water
moisture information to compute runoff. The SAC-SMA model also includes the hydrologic
budget terms (e.g., evapotranspiration) used in various drought indices (e.g., Palmer Drought
Severity Index) which are necessary for developing a water budget for the soil component.

       The Office of Hydrologic Development (OHD) has reconciled a conceptual approach for
using Geographic Information System (GIS) soils data [either State Soil Geographic Data (or
STATSGO) or Soil Survey Geographic Data (or SSURGO)] to compute the soil parameters for
the SAC-SMA model (e.g., see Reed et. al., Distributed Modeling for Improved NWS River
Forecasts; Anderson, Koren and Reed, 2005, Using SSURGO data to improve Sacramento
Model a priori parameter estimates, Journal of Hydrology 320; 103-116; Koren et al., Use of
Soil Property Data in the Derivation of Conceptual Rainfall – Runoff Model Parameters, 15th
AMS Conference). However, some issues related to the spatial scale for computing the
parameters remain (e.g., 2 km grid versus 1 km grid).

        This research will derive soils parameters at the sub-kilometer to kilometer spatial scale
that can be used for presenting various indices of drought on the RDDSS and deriving SAC-
SMA input parameters. The SAC-SMA model will be used to forecast flow conditions within
the Red River of the North Basin. Previous work by Reed (see CRWR Online Report 98-8. Use
of Digital Soil Maps in a Rainfall-Runoff Model, http://www.crwr.utexas.edu/reports/1998/rpt98-
8.shtml) shows the spatial scale of the soils data affects the quality of the hydrologic model
calibration and validation. The SAC-SMA model represents the soil profile as two
compartments; i.e., upper and lower storage zones. The amount of moisture within each
compartment is described by two parameters – the tension water and the free water. The
definitions for these parameters are not entirely consistent with the nomenclature used by soil
scientists or of use to the farmer or rancher when making agricultural production decisions or
responding to drought. The approach described by Anderson et al. (see Using SSURGO data to
improve Sacramento Model a priori parameter estimates, Journal of Hydrology, 2006, pp 103-
116) and Koren et al. (see Use of Soil Property Data in the Derivation of Conceptual Rainfall-
Runoff Model Parameters, 15th Conference of Hydrology, American Meteorological Society,
                                                4
2000) resolves this discrepancy. Our approach will be to use a series of lookup tables to cross-
reference the SAC-SMA soil parameters and the soil moisture parameters to represent various
drought indices (e.g., Palmer Drought Severity Index).

        Another component of using prior research results will include the outcomes and
knowledge gained from the results of the Distributed Model Intercomparison Projects 1 and II
(DMIPS). This research aims at comparing and using runoff parameters such as NexRAD
rainfall estimates at varying spatial scales. The goal of these projects is to improve the RFC
scale river simulations and to aid RFC’s with distributed hydrologic modeling. This will be an
important component to decisions that are made in phase 3 of our project.

        Our proposal includes using the SAC-SMA model (using the refined soils data) to
forecast discharge probabilistically during low flow and drought conditions on the Red River of
the North. Forecasting will begin based upon predetermined criteria for a pending drought.
Experience from implementing the FFDT shows that a desktop application residing within the
NWS RFC can be used to automate extracting the soil parameter data, soil moisture terms, water
balance terms, the hydrologic model results, and the creation of products to communicate
drought risk for porting to a web environment. An automated data transfer process developed
during the implementation of the Flood Forecast Display Tool will be used to automatically
deliver the products to the RRDDSS (i.e., RRBDIN) server.

        Communicating drought information and risk is an area of active and important research.
A variety of indices are available for differing purposes. Some of these indices include the:
Palmer Drought Severity Index, the Crop Moisture Index, Standardized Precipitation Index, and
percentage of normal. Many of these indices are based upon meteorological rather than estimated
soil moisture condition, the amount of moisture in the soil, or the forecast flow in a river.
Because the SAC-SMA model will be used to probabilistically forecast discharges (requiring soil
moisture information), actual estimates of future soil moisture content and flow conditions
within the river will be available for the derivation of (new) drought indices. These indices will
be made available to the general public and the technical community as GIS products through an
interactive map similar to that developed for the FFDT. Products made available through
implementation of a Web Mapping Service can then be accessed and used by other existing
(http://www.drought.unl.edu/) and developing NIDIS applications. Critical research issues will
be addressed through this effort including, determining the optimal spatial scale for deriving
SAC-SMA soil moisture parameters within an operational (forecast) setting during drought,
extracting extract and using water balance terms within the SAC-SMA model (or a similar
application) to communicate drought risk within a operational setting, developing methods,
procedures, and computational requirements to process data on a basin-wide scale to compute
discharge during a drought, the estimated amount of moisture in the soil horizon and indices to
communicate risk to the public, and creating the ability to implement the SAC-SMA model to
probabilistically forecast discharge under drought conditions. Upon completion, we anticipate
the existing, excellent applied research will be used to develop a local and regional template to
forecast drought, consistent with the NIDIS implementation effort.




                                                5
               OVERVIEW OF PROJECT PROPOSAL AND OBJECTIVES

Identification of the Problem
        Drought is a pervasive and perennial problem in many areas of the United States.
Drought losses to local, state, regional, and national economies total $6-$8 billion each year
(www.magazine.noaa.gov/stories/mag51.htm). Economic losses and social hardship due to
drought events are well documented in literature and research. The challenge is to mitigate
damages and providing decision support tools to prevent or lessen the societal hardship.
Mitigating drought damages will require developing technically defensible methods and
techniques to forecast drought and communicate the meaning of these forecasts in an
understandable manner - in near real-time - to affected stakeholders. NOAA and the NWS have
or are developing many of the technically defensible methods and techniques that can be used in
a Decision Support Systems (DSS) and provide valuable tools for conveying information to
stakeholders..
We propose to research, explore and test existing methods and techniques developed by the
NWS research and operational staff to forecast drought information to stakeholders. This project
will also test new drought forecast products and tools developed from the modeling results of the
project to test among stakeholders. The projects ultimate goal is to use soil moisture on a fine
grid spatial scale and predict low-flow streamflow (e.g., using the distributed SAC-SMA model)
operationally to generate drought-related products disseminated to the public through an existing
regional DSS for the Red River Basin of the North (www.rrbdin.org).

The project is broken into three phases each building upon the results of the pervious phase.
   • Phase 1 will create, evaluate, and implement drought forecast products. This phase will
       complete an extensive evaluation and research using both existing and new forecast
       products and tools. The products will be evaluated for use and effectiveness of
       communicating drought risk to agricultural producers and water supply users. The
       drought forecasts will be generated from the existing lumped parameter SAC-SMA
       model for the Red River of the North Basin. The project team feels it is important to
       engage the Steering Committee and stakeholders early in the project and to also have a
       defined list of products that meet the needs of the stakeholders. The current SAC-SMA
       model is being used for this because the migration of the NCRFC from the lumped
       parameter model to the distributed modeling will take a few of years and requires work in
       calibration and parameter generation. After the drought products have been mocked up
       and reviewed by stakeholders the project team will create software code to automate the
       generation of the drought products. The drought products will then be published to the
       RRBDIN website in a new spaced called the “Regional Drought Decision Support
       System” (RDDSS).
   • Phase 2’s work includes migrating the NCRFC’s hydraulic model from FLDWAV to
       unsteady HEC-RAS. This work includes generating the input data need for the hydraulic
       model and researching and comparing data resolutions for hydraulic cross sections used
       to route low flows on the Red River of the North. The results of the low flow forecasting
       on the Red River will be used to update the drought forecast products and website created
       in phase 1.
   • Phase 3 work includes migrating to a distributed hydrologic model to forecast flows and
       soil moisture on a fine spatial scale. Upon completion, the drought forecast products will
       be updated from phase 1 with the new modeling results and implemented on the RDDSS.
                                                 6
   More detail on the specific tasks completed under each phase is described under the
   “Detailed Statement of Work” section.

Expected outcomes
   • An update to the NWS North Central River Forecast Center’s techniques and methods
      (e.g., low flow hydrologic forecasts using Ensemble Streamflow Prediction and fine scale
      gridded soil moisture content) in an operational environment to automatically generated
      drought products for distribution through an existing regional DSS;
   • Implementation of the drought products into a regional DSS creating a regional drought
      portal using the existing implementation architecture successfully created under a
      previous NWS grant (see http://ffdt.rrbdin.org/ProjectDocumentation_122906.pdf).
   • Research that engages the stakeholder community in the use of new and existing
      products/tools specific to communicating the risk of drought. Specifically for evaluating
      the use of the products for agricultural producers and water supply users along the Red
      River;
   • Research that documents the comparison of data inputs to routing low-flow streamflows
      in HEC-RAS.
   • A project template that can be used by other NWS River Forecast Centers or other NIDIS
      projects to communicate drought risk to stakeholders.
   • Communication of results to NOAA and other interested parties by website, conference
      papers, presentations and publications.

Scientific objectives
   Critical research issues and scientific objectives by this project include:
   •   Determine the optimal spatial scale for deriving SAC-SMA soil moisture parameters
       within an operational (forecast) setting during drought;
   •   The ability to extract and use water balance terms within the SAC-SMA model (or a
       similar application) to communicate drought risk within a operational setting;
   •   Methods, procedures, and computational requirements to process data on a basin-wide
       scale to compute discharge during a drought, the estimated amount of moisture in the soil
       horizon and indices to communicate risk to the public;
   •   Ability to implement the SAC-SMA model to probabilistically forecast discharge under
       drought conditions.
   Upon completion we anticipate the existing, excellent applied research will be used to
develop a local and regional template to forecast drought, consistent with the NIDIS
implementation effort.


Relevance to the Goals of the Climate Program and Program Priorities
    This project is especially relevant to the Climate Program and the Climate Program’s
priorities. The project includes the following aspects which are consistent with the Program and
the Program priorities:
   •   Continues an existing public, private, and not-for-profit partnership which successfully
       developed the Flood Forecast Display Tool - FFDT (see http://ffdt.rrbdin.org/);
                                                7
   •   Build upon existing resources by utilizing the Red River Basin Decision Information
       Network -RRBDIN (see www.rrbdin.org);
   •   Provides a transferable regional template for the implementation of a Decision Support
       System which can be integrated with NIDIS – directly applicable to the NIDIS pilot
       effort;
   •   Implements Ensemble Stream flow Prediction using the emerging distributed SAC-SMA
       model;
   •   Focuses on drought, but more importantly forecasting drought;
   •   Results in new products for communicating drought and drought risk, to the general
       public, which are transferable to other offices in the NWS;
   •   Involves the local community input into interpreting and understanding drought forecast
       products and tools; and
   •   Consistent with NOAA’s efforts for education to achieve environmental literacy;


Benefits to NOAA and the NWS NCRFC
   •   The results from the soil moisture forecast modeling updates will help the NCRFC assess
       the viability of distributed hydrologic modeling using the Sacramento Soil Moisture
       Accounting Model (SAC-SMA) for operational hydrological forecasts within the Red
       River of the North Valley;
   •   The results from the low-flow river stream flow forecasting will facilitate NCRFC
       transition to HEC-RAS for hydraulic routing and modeling;
   •   The results from the transitioning of modeling methods, techniques and software will
       update the current flood forecast tool that is currently in place;
   •   The tools and products from this project will serve as potential templates for other RFC;
   •   Further evaluate the current research on generating input parameters for distributed
       hydrologic modeling using the Sacramento Soil Moisture Accounting Model (SAC-
       SMA) for operational hydrological forecasts;
   •   Develop new research comparing resolution of input parameters for low-flow streamflow
       routing in HEC-RAS;
   •   Provide a means to effectively inform the public about drought conditions within the Red
       River Valley.


Benefits to Stakeholders and Dissemination Plan
   We anticipate that the project will provide considerable value to the public and the scientific
community:

   •   The results from emerging research will be implemented within an operational
       environment and used to create tangible drought related products to communicate
       drought risk to the public;

                                                 8
   •   The results will be implemented in an operation environment and used to educate the
       public regarding products aimed at communicating drought risk;
   •   The lessons learned can be directly integrated into the NIDIS (“early warning”
       (Sub)system) implementation effort as an example of a regional drought portal;
   •   The methods, approach, and products are portable to other regional applications
       consistent with the NIDIS effort;
   •   Engaging the user community during the development of the products used to
       communicate drought risk will result in clear direction for the development of drought
       products at the local, regional and national levels;
   •   Building on the success of the already considerable government investment in the
       existing Red River Basin Decision Information Support System (www.rrbdin.org) and the
       Flood Forecast Display Tool (http://ffdt.rrbdin.org/) maximizes the likelihood of a
       tangible, portable, and readily useable tool;
   •   The concept for integrating local and regional drought DSS into NIDIS can be directly
       tested and adjusted for implementation within other areas of the US; and
   •   Demonstrating methodologies to integrate data and forecast information into a regional
       DSS, consistent with the NIDIS research priorities.
The public will benefit from new products generated for the NWS which allows drought
response activities to begin in advance of the drought and empower residents, managers, and
policy makers to make decisions based upon the risk of drought occurrence.


Tentatively Planned Steering Committee and Stakeholders
The project team understands the importance of a well diversified Steering Committee comprised
of members from both the social and physical sciences backgrounds. The Steering Committee
will engage stakeholders that use water from the Red River and those that may have direct
economic loss or social hardship during droughts. Members may include:
       •   Roger Pulwarty (or alternate from NIDIS effort)
       •   Paul Bourget (Water Resources)
       •   Dan Keppen (National Family Farm Alliance)
       •   Craig Bell, Executive Director of Western States Water Council
       •   Scott Drummer, Hydrologist in Charge of NCRFC
       •   Mark Bittner, City of Fargo Engineer
       •   Al Grasser, City of Grand Forks Engineer
       •   David Johnson, Garrison Diversion Conservancy District
       •   Mark Ryan, Bureau of Reclamation, Great Plains Regional Office
       •   Climate professional
       •   Red River Watershed Management Board Member
       •   MN Department of Natural Resources (State Government) Member
       •   State of ND Member
       •   Stakeholders would include:


                                               9
               o Farmers, Ranchers, Industries, Federal/State/Local government, and General
                 Public
References
The references provided are specific to previous Decision Support Applications developed by the
Principal Investigator and contractor:
Dr. Paul Bourget                                  Mr. Pedro Restrepo
Institute for Water Resources                     Senior Scientist
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers                      NOAA National Weather Service W/OHD1
7701 Telegraph Road                               1325 East West Hwy., Rm. 8176
Alexandria, VA 22315                              Silver Spring, MD 20910-3283
(703) 428-6292                                    301-713-0640, ext. 210
paul.g.bourget@usace.army.mil                     Pedro.Restrepo@noaa.gov

Mr. Terry Birkenstock
Chief, Environmental Section
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District
190 Fifth Street East
St. Paul, MN 55101-1638
(651) 290-5264
terry.birkenstock@usace.army.mil


        In summary, this proposal will extend a successful public, not-for-profit, private
partnership (in cooperation with the technical support of the North Central River Forecast Center
- NCRFC) to develop and demonstrate the implementation of additional enhancements and
applications to the RRBDIN. These enhancements and applications are not only of local interest
to the NCRFC, but broad general use by the River Forecast Centers (RFCs) and Weather
Forecast Offices (WFOs). The outcomes of the project are specifically intended to serve as a
template for implementing a RDDSS consistent with the NIDIS implementation plan and also
provide operational drought forecast products to stakeholders in the Red River of the North
Basin. Ultimately the success of this project will be measured by the use of the drought forecast
products by the stakeholders, the transfer of methodology and products to other regions and the
migration of the forecasting methods used by the NWS NCRFC.


DETAILED STATEMENT OF WORK
The project statement of work is divided into three phases with sub-tasks that are envisioned to
complete this project and achieve the desired outcomes.


PHASE 1 – CREATING, EVALUTATING AND IMPLEMENTING DROUGHT
FORECASTING PRODUCTS
        Currently the NCRFC is using a lumped parameter SAC-SMA model for hydrological
modeling. The long term plans are to investigate and move to a distributed SAC-SMA model.
Since this is a few years out we need to use their current operational model forecasts to begin to
prepare drought products for review by the committee and stakeholders. These forecasts will
                                                 10
also be used to begin the development of the programming code that is needed to automate the
generation of the drought products and tools in near real time on the RDDSS.
        The NCRFC hydrologic model for the Red River of the North is comprised of 111 sub-
basins ranging in area from 35 mi2 to 1125 mi2. It is a continuous model that simulates both the
snowpack and soil moisture states for runoff calculations. The model runs on a six-hour timestep
and is driven by observed temperature data and either radar precipitation estimates or mean areal
precipitation estimates based on ground observations. Evapotranspiration (ET) in the model is
based on normal monthly ET rates estimated from historical data and refined during model
calibration.
        Each day the precipitation and temperature data are quality controlled and the model is
executed and evaluated. The model simulations are compared with observed river stage and
flow data, and where there are significant simulation errors the model states can be modified to
improve the simulation. This model is used to forecast a wide range of conditions from drought
to flooding.
Task 1 – Project Initiation Meeting to Confirm Concept and Approach / Assemble Steering
Committee
         An initiation meeting is anticipated as the formal beginning for the project, following the
notification of the grant award by NOAA. Anticipated meeting attendees include NOAA and
NWS staff, IWI staff, and additional contractors expected to be involved during development of
the RDDSS. A review of the proposed RDDSS concept, the proposed tasks comprising this
proposal, the schedule and level of effort for each task, roles and responsibilities for each of the
project participants, and critical technical issues are expected to be discussed during the project
initiation meeting.
       A Steering Committee will be formally invited to participate and assembled. General
stakeholders groups will also be notified through press releases inviting them to participate.
Guidance will be provided to both groups on expectations, responsibilities and participation.
Task 2 – Calibrate and Verify the Lumped Parameter SAC-SMA Model to Low Flows for
the Red River of the North Basin
Use the current NCRFC operational lumped parameter SAC-SMA model to develop the various
drought forecast statistical summaries and indices. The drought summaries and indices will be
presented to the Steering Committee to get feedback and adjust as necessary. An early goal is to
get drought forecast products up and running and show early success. Additional tasks include:
   •   Establish strict criteria for calibration (e.g., percent deviation from daily, monthly, maybe
       annual runoff volumes)
   •   Define critical low flow periods (e.g. 3 separate periods) for the purposes of model
       calibration and verification
   •   Calibrate to two of these periods
   •   Use the 3rd period for verification


Task 3 – Describe Statistical Summaries, Model Parameters, and Derived Model Terms for
Use in Communicating Drought Risk


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•   Prior to generating the drought forecast product and tools, we need to evaluate statistical
    summaries, model parameters and derived model outputs that can be used to
    communicate drought risk. We anticipate not all the desired parameters may exist in the
    current lumped hydrologic model. Those parameters that don’t exist will be considered
    for additions in phase 2 and 3.
•   We anticipate analyzing the statistical summaries and model parameters that pertain to
    communicating drought risk to both agricultural produces and water supply users.
•   Some of the drought indices are already established based on previous research. We plan
    to use them to the extent possible http://www.drought.gov/portal/server.pt?
    open=512&objID=223&mode=2&in_hi_userid=2&cached=true
•   We anticipate to extract key model data to express drought condition (e.g, tension water)
    and turn this into something that relates to crop condition (e.g., available water content in
    the soil, moisture deficient)
•   We plan to use statistical summaries of gauged versus forecast flows for various
    durations as well where the forecast flows come from the SAC-SMA model
•   We will access information from municipalities and industries regarding the elevation of
    their intake structures and some of their operational rules related to flow and use these to
    convey risk to the populations affected
•   We will access permitted withdrawal information for the Red River of the North and
    tributaries
•   For purposes of communicating drought risk, we will use those years selected for
    calibration and verification to place the forecast data into context (e.g., we will compare
    our forecast to these years). For example, we know that 1976 was dry fall……
•   We will extract certain subwatershed parameters used to calibrate the model (e.g., tension
    water and free water) and statistically summarize these at the major watershed scale using
    notched box plots and frequency curves. We will then compare these parameters to those
    for the forecast period to place those for the forecast period into some context
•   Once the model is calibrated, then we will do ensemble streamflow prediction (ESP)
    hydrologic forecasting for 90-days into the future - with a 6-hour time step
•   Run three model periods and summarize the drought risk, for the purposes of taking the
    preliminary info to the Steering Committee
•   Mock up preliminary drought products and tools for the Steering Committee. These
    mock-ups may also include products planned to be developed as part of Phase 2 and 3 of
    the project. Special attention will be given to alternative products that may be possible
    with model outputs from Phases 2 and 3 modeling work. Products and tools may
    include:
       o Facilities and Infrastructure Risk Analysis – using the low flow database being
         developed by the National Drought Mitigation Center (see
         http://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2005/techprogram/paper_87357.htm), we will
         identify facilities and structures at risk because of low flow conditions on the Red
         River. These are primarily expected to be water supply intake structures for the
         various communities relying on the Red River of the North for water supply.

                                             12
          o Local Drought Plan Action Levels – some communities (e.g., the City of Fargo –
            see
            http://www.ci.fargo.nd.us/CityInfo/Departments/WaterTreatment/DroughtPlan/)
            have established various action levels for flow conditions in the Red River of the
            North. The Local Drought Plan Action Level product is expected to display these
            action levels, based upon the SAC-SMA ensemble streamflow predictions.
          o Low Flow Water Quality Risk – wastewater effluent is discharged to the Red
            River of the North continuously by some communities (e.g., Fargo, North Dakota)
            and periodically in the spring or the fall by others (e.g., Moorhead, Minnesota).
            The permitted ability to discharge is tied to minimum flows within the Red River
            of the North. This product will convey information about streamflow forecasts to
            convey risk associated with the ability to discharge effluent.
          o Interactive Map for Decision Support – an open-source interactive map which
            includes the ability to download products, for the purpose of decision making.
            The interactive map will include forecast flows and currently measured flows,
            discharge and precipitation forecasts, snow depths, and precipitation forecasts
            with the ability overlay these layers. The map will also include the daily forecast
            soil moisture deficient and crop water requirements computed using the desktop
            application.
          o Nonexceendance (i.e., percent of time flows are not exceeded) discharge and
            volumes – the ensemble streamflow predictions will be processed into graphical
            tools for display on the website.
          o Soil Moisture Deficient and Crop Requirements – the soil moisture accounting
            grid conveying information about the soil field capacity, the available water
            content, the current water content, and the soil moisture deficit will be processed
            and displayed by the Interactive Map for Decision Support.
          o Drought Indices Tool – traditional drought indices will be display via the
            interactive map tool. These indices will include the Palmer Drought Severity
            Index, Departure from Normal, and other indices.


Task 4 – Steering Committee Meeting to Discuss Indices, Products and NIDIS Integration
   •   The Steering Committee meeting will focus on two items; adequacy of the statistical
       methods, indices etc that we are using to communicate drought risk; and how we
       integrate this into the regional component of NIDIS within drought.gov and the NCRFC
       web page
   •   Incorporate feedback from Steering Committee into the methods of communicating
       drought risk
   •   Revise and finalize the statistical summaries, indices, and direction for final drought
       forecast products and tools.


Task 5 – Present Drought Forecast Products and Tools to Stakeholders


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        Experience has shown development of applications and products without user input can
limit the use of the products developed. User community outreach during product development
is an important step that will be emphasized early and throughout the project. Two non-technical
tasks are anticipated – the completion of usability tests and public education and outreach. The
acceptance willingness to use the products developed is based in part upon an understanding of
value and use of the information being conveyed. Three public workshops are planned to
provide information about the use of the tools. Meetings are also needed to develop and
implement some of the web applications which require a local commitment, including the Local
Drought Plan Action Levels.
        Usability tests are a useful method to assess the design acceptability of web products to a
broad array of users. These usability tests include checks on color, scale, navigability, speed, as
well as other factors affecting ease of use. Modifications of the web products will be completed
based on the completion of the usability tests.
   •   Begin to engage general stakeholders into the review of the products and tools
   •   Prepare mock-ups. We anticipate the mockups will include text, graphics, charts and
       maps presented in web pages to accurately show how the final products may be presented
       to them via the decision support system website.
   •   We plan to use a public communication specialist to help us engage and present mock-
       ups of the drought products to the stakeholders
   •   Incorporate feedback from public communication specialist and stakeholders
   •   Revise and finalize the products for final drought forecast products and tools.


Task 6 – Conceptual Software Design to Create and Publish Drought Products to the
Stakeholders via the RDDSS
   •   Conceptual development of software code. This includes generating a software design
       specification document to guide programmers in writing the code to generate the products
       and tools. The specification documents may include process diagrams and flow charts,
       the pseudo-code reflective of the computational and data processing steps, and mock-ups
       of the expected products. We anticipate working closely with the NCRFC staff to follow
       their operational requirements with software development. Two primary software
       applications will be developed. One is software code that takes the model outputs and
       parameters and generates the drought forecast products. The second is a web application
       that will display the results on the RDDSS.
   •   Technical requirements need to be identified relative to the automated transfer of the web
       products generated by the desktop application from the NCRFC client to the web server.
       The technical requirements will also identify the anticipated system architecture,
       programming languages, and operating system requirements.


Task 7 – Development and Testing of the Software Code
       This task consists of the actual development, programming, testing and debugging of the
various scripts and software code needed to generate the anticipated products (see Task 3). The
guide for developing the code is the software specification design document. Special
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consideration will be given to software development that includes changes to parameters or
products upon completion of new modeling in Phases 2 and 3.


Task 8 – Web Site Development, Deployment and Testing
       This task consists of the actual development, programming, testing and debugging of the
decision support system needed to present the anticipated products to the stakeholders. The guide
for developing the code is the software specification design document.
        The web application is expected to reside on a web server at the International Water
Institute (as does the current RRBDIN). The web application will use the products generated by
the desktop application and present those products to the general public. Conceptual
development of the web products is needed and intended to be consistent with, the Advanced
Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) (http://www.weather.gov/ahps/). GIS shapefiles can be
made available to the “River Download” tab within AHPS as well as GIS layers through the use
of a Web Mapping Service.


Task 9 – Products and Tools Documentation
       A report will be created documenting the software code and methods used to generate the
drought forecast products and tools. The purpose of this document will be to share with other
RFC and organizations involved in NIDIS that are interested in developing similar products.
The documentation will also be updated if any changes are warranted from the outcomes of
phase 2 and 3.


Task 10 – Project Management, Meetings and Outreach
        Project management, the development of presentations about the project, and meetings
with key interest groups is the focus of this task. Outreach to other groups is pivotal to
transferring knowledge and stimulating constructive feedback on the project. The project team
envisions three out of state formal presentations. These presentations could be made at any time
during this project and won’t necessarily all be completed in phase 1. We envision these
presentations to include:
           •   NOAA Washington Staff;
           •   NIDIS Implementation Team; and
           •   One scientific presentation at one conference.
        The project team also envisions numerous presentations to local stakeholder groups and
press releases to engage the interested stakeholders to participate in evaluating the products.
Management of the execution of the project is also an important activity completed during the
execution of this task. This task will be ongoing throughout all phases of this project.


Task 11 – NOAA, NWS and NIDIS Implementation Team Coordination
       Considerable coordination with NOAA, NWS and NIDIS implementation partners is
necessary during the execution of the project to ensure consistency and integration with AHPS

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and the NIDIS implementation effort. We anticipate two meetings requiring out-of-town travel
to coordinate development efforts and to ensure consistency. We also envision participating or
conducting numerous teleconferences or web meetings to update individuals of our progress
throughout the project. Finally annual reports will be prepared to update NOAA grant reviewers
on the status of the project. This task will be ongoing throughout all phases of the project.


PHASE II – HYDRAULIC ROUTING OF LOW FLOWS
        At this time NCRFC does not have - nor have they developed - any low flow hydraulic
models. However, the NCRFC is well aware that this type of routing will be required in the very
near future. The people along the Red River of the North Main Stem will require low flows to be
modeled to ensure that water will be available. Of course the unknown in this type of modeling
is whether or not the existing hydraulic data, cross-sections, are up to the job of low flow routing.
This questions needs to be addressed in order to provide meaningful forecasts.


Task 1 – Project team meeting to discuss goals and objectives of Phase II.
Outcome of this meeting will set direction on hydraulic modeling requirements and
development. It will also determine spatial extent of modeling. Currently we envision the model
to forecast low-flow from Wahpeton, ND to Fargo, ND.


Task 2 – Collect and assemble input data for HEC-RAS Hydraulic model development.
Currently the spatial extent we are proposing to model is very data rich with models and
surveyed channel cross sections; however, none of the data is contained in a single model. This
task develops that single model that is needed by the NCRFC to operationally do forecasting.
   •   Gather existing HEC-RAS models already developed by other organizations for the Red
       River.
   •   Develop hydrographs
   •   Gather elevation data for water supply intake structures
   •   Evaluate existing cross sections for use in model.
           o Collect new cross section channel geometry where necessary.
           o Cut new cross sections from new LIDAR data for overbank areas
           o Incorporate existing structures
   •   Assemble models and develop a new model that covers larger reaches
   •   Calibrate the model
   •   Stabilize model and ensure it is running


Task 3 – Test model in NCRFC office operations and evaluate results
Task 4 – Create low-flow forecasts for the Red River

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Task 5 – Incorporate low-flow forecasts into drought products from Phase 1
This task involves evaluating how the new modeling results will be incorporated into the drought
forecast products. It will also evaluate what changes are needed to the software code and
website to automate the generation of the products. The specific products that will be updated are
the products that communicate risk to water supply users.
Task 6 – Update Products, Website and Outreach
Upon the complete of the modeling, revisions will need to be made in the software code
generated in Phase 1 of the project. We anticipate these updates will be minimal because we will
have envisioned the products and changes during phase 1 work - never-the-less updates are
anticipated.
At this point of the project the stakeholders will also have had a significant amount of time to
begin to use the products on the RDDSS. The project team will review feedback collected
during this period and revise the drought forecast products as needed.
Finally as part of this task the project team will once again engage the steering committee and
stakeholders to provide feedback on the changes to the drought forecast products.
Task 7 – Research Component
Complete a report that will compare the impacts of different spatial resolution and density of
cross sections within an unsteady HEC-RAS model for low flow conditions. The report will
compare two models representing a reach of the river – one model uses the existing cross
sections and another includes additional cross sections. The report will discuss the comparison
of required cross section density when routing water in HEC-RAS in low flow conditions.


PHASE III – IMPLEMENT DISTRIBUTED PARAMETER HYDROLOGIC
FORECASTING AND USE TO UPDATE DROUGHT INDICES AT FINE SPATIAL
SCALE
The NCRFC maintains and uses the SAC-SMA model for forecasting flood flows on the Red
River of the North. Deployment of the distributed version is anticipated in concert with this
effort. Expectations are that this model will be used as the basis for the low flow probabilistic
forecasting. Although water stage is of interest, using the existing FLDWAV model to forecast
stage along the Red River is not anticipated. Rather, existing rating curves will be gathered and
used assuming normal depth. Discharges forecast by the SAC-SMA model will be used
determine “risk” to infrastructure along the Red River by utilizing the low flow database being
developed by the National Drought Mitigation Center (see
http://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2005/techprogram/paper_87357.htm).
        The SAC-SMA model will be developed and calibrated to a recent low flow year during
the completion of this task. Considerable work to identify and characterize drought flows within
the Red River Basin was completed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation during the development
of the Red River Water Supply Project (see http://www.rrvwsp.com/). This work included an
analysis of the magnitude and duration of low flows constituting drought since the 1930s. By
using this analysis, a drought period will be identified for the purpose of calibrating the SAC-
SMA model. Selection of a post-1950’s period is most likely, because the construction of storage
reservoirs by the U. S. Army Corp of Engineers during the 1950’s altered the low flow
conditions within the Red River Basin. A second low flow / drought period will be selected to

                                                17
validate the calibrated model. Statistical analysis will be used to characterize the quality of the
calibration and validation processes.
         We anticipate that the NCRFC will begin low flow hydrologic forecasting using the
calibrated and validated (distributed) SAC-SMA model based upon some criteria. The likely
criteria will be predetermined discharges at various locations along the Red River of the North,
based upon current, measured discharges or flows known to trigger drought emergency response
planning efforts (see
http://www.ci.fargo.nd.us/CityInfo/Departments/WaterTreatment/DroughtPlan/).
        The NCRFC hydrologic model for the Red River of the North is comprised of 111 sub-
basins ranging in area from 35 mi2 to 1125 mi2. It is a continuous model that simulates both the
snowpack and soil moisture states for runoff calculations. The model runs on a six-hour timestep
and is driven by observed temperature data and either radar precipitation estimates or mean areal
precipitation estimates based on ground observations. Evapotranspiration (ET) in the model is
based on normal monthly ET rates estimated from historical data and refined during model
calibration.
        Every day the precipitation and temperature data are quality controlled and the model is
executed and evaluated. The model simulations are compared with observed river stage and
flow data, and where there are significant simulation errors the model states can be modified to
improve the simulation. This model is used to forecast a wide range of conditions from drought
to flooding.
Task 1 – Project team meeting to discuss goals and objectives of Phase III.
Outcome of this meeting will set direction on distributed hydrologic modeling requirements and
development. It will also determine spatial extent of modeling. Currently we envision the model
to forecast low-flow from Wahpeton, ND to Fargo, ND.
Task 2 – Collect and assemble input data for distributed SAC-SMA model development.
Many of these parameters are already developed and will be transferred from the lumped
hydrology model. A significant amount of this work will be provided as in-kind staff labor from
the NWS NCRFC.
Task 3 – Evaluate and determine the appropriate fine spatial scale for distributed
modeling.
   •   Evaluate .5, 1, and 2 kilometer fine scale GRID resolutions for forecasting soil moisture
       content
   •   Incorporate and evaluate DMIP research
Task 4 – Calibrate model
A significant amount of this work will be provided as in-kind staff labor from the NWS NCRFC.
Task 5 – Test model in NCRFC operations
A significant amount of this work will be provided as in-kind staff labor from the NWS NCRFC.
Task 6 – Incorporate new distributed hydrologic model results into drought products from
phase 1



                                                 18
This task involves evaluating how the new modeling results will be incorporated into the drought
forecast products. It will also evaluate what changes are needed to the software code and
website to automate the generation of the products.
Task 7 – Update Products and Website
Upon the complete of the modeling, revisions will need to be made in the software code
generated in Phase 1 and 2 of the project. We anticipate these updates will be minimal because
we will have envisioned the products and changes during phase 1 work. Never the less some
updates are anticipated.
At this point of the project the stakeholders will also have had a significant amount of time to use
the products on the RDDSS. The project team will also review feedback collected during this
period and revise the drought forecast products as needed.
Finally as part of this task the project team will once again engage the steering committee and
stakeholders to provide feedback on the changes to the drought forecast products.




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DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Letter of Intent for Accounting Research document sample