$1M contribution from New York City Department of Environmental Protection to boost creek flow monitoring
OLIVE, N.Y. — The New York City Department of Environmental Protection has pledged $1 million toward National Weather Service development of computer models that will forecast reservoir levels and stream flows.
Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland in a press release said the forecasts are intended to increase the accuracy of water monitoring.
“This is a win-win situation for both DEP and our partners the National Weather Service,” he said. “NWS gets additional funds to pilot its new forecasting system in a discrete region, which will facilitate their eventual nationwide rollout. DEP gets the cutting-edge forecasts needed for the operations support tool much sooner than if we had to wait for the nationwide rollout.”
National Weather Service Director Jack Hayes said the project will be a functioning example of assistance that can be used in other communities.
“Effective partnerships with state and local government play a big role in our vision for a weather-ready nation and our agreement with NYCDEP is a great example,” he said. “With (city funds) accelerating our schedule we can improve our warnings for events that threaten lives and livelihood and give sophisticated users like DEP the forecasts they need to optimize their water resources decisions based on their operating rules and risk tolerance.”
The project called Hydrologic Ensemble Forecast Service will calculate the level of creeks and streams based on expected rainfall.
Officials wrote that the service “will produce several different forecasts of peak river levels that provide an objective estimate of uncertainty in the river forecasts. Operators can use this information along with knowledge of current water supply conditions to assess risk and make for informed decisions. Current (National Weather Service) operations provide only a single peak forecast with no estimate of forecast uncertainty.”
National Weather Service officials expect to have the system operational in 2014 with monitoring done from Taunton, Mass., for the Schoharie, Ashokan, Rondout reservoirs and from State College, Pa., for the Cannonsville, Pepaction and Neversink reservoirs.
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