Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations

FIRO is a reservoir-operations strategy that better informs decisions to retain or release water by integrating additional flexibility in operation policies and rules with enhanced monitoring and improved weather and water forecasts (American Meteorological Society; 2020).

FIRO is being developed and tested as a collaborative effort in the Russian River Basin (Lake Mendocino), the Santa Ana River Basin (Prado Dam), and the Yuba-Feather River Basins that engages experts and stakeholders in civil engineering, hydrology, meteorology, biology, economics and climate from several federal, state and local, universities and others. There is significant interest and support for developing FIRO at other appropriate locations in the Western U.S. and elsewhere.

Russian River
Prado Dam
FIRO Colloquium
FIRO Workshop

Don Seymour

(Sonoma Water)

John James

(Yuba Water)

John Leahigh

(California Department of Water Resources)

Greg Woodside

(Orange County Water Distrcit)

F. Martin Ralph

(Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes at Scripps Institution of Oceanography)

Cary Talbot

(US Army Corps of Engineers)

Ninth Annual Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations (FIRO) Workshop Presentations

Moderator: Duncan Axisa, CW3E

Russian RiverDon Seymour, Sonoma Water

Prado DamGreg Woodside, Orange County Water District

Yuba-FeatherJohn James, Yuba Water; John Leahigh, CA DWR

Howard HansonKevin Shaffer, USACE; Greg Volkhardt, Tacoma Water

Moderator: Mike DeFlorio, CW3E

Scott Steinschneider, Cornell University

Mike Sierks, CW3E

Panelists: Mike Dettinger, CW3E; Karla Nemeth, CA DWR; John Leahigh, CA DWR; Sean Smith, USACE

Moderator: Elissa Yeates, USACE

Adaptive WCM Concepts Rob Hartman, RK Hartman Consulting

Fundamentals of Integrating FIRO into WCMs Joe Forbis, USACE

Yuba Feather WCM Update Jennifer Fromm, USACE

Lake Mendocino WCM Update Nicholas Malasavage, USACE

Decision Support Tools Needed for FIRO Integration Chris Delaney, CW3E

Moderator: Elissa Yeates, USACE

Panelists: Angela Hogan, USACE Los Angeles District; Jenny Fromm, USACE Sacramento District; Patrick Sing, USACE San Francisco District; Nabil Shafike, USACE Albuquerque District

Moderator: Jason Cordeira, CW3E

Summary of “A Report on Priorities for Weather Research (2021)”Marty Ralph, CW3E

Current State of QPF Skill Across Season and Region in the USBrian Hurley, NWS Water Prediction Center

Advances in Precipitation Forecast Accuracy Supported by Atmospheric River Reconnaissance: Progress & Future DirectionsAnna Wilson, CW3E

CW3E’s Forecast Verification ProgramRachel Weihs, CW3E

Moderator: Alan Haynes, NOAA NWS CNRFC

National Water Model Ed Clark, NOAA National Water Center

WRF-Hydro Ming Pan, CW3E

GSSHA Steve Turnbull, USACE ERDC

HEFS Alan Haynes, NOAA

Moderator: Adam Hutchinson, Orange County Water District

FIRO and AR Program PerspectiveMike Anderson, CA DWR


Merced FloodDavid Arrate, CA DWR

San Joaquin Basin Watershed Studies Jim Wieking, CA DWR

Moderator: Arleen O’Donnell, ERG/CW3E

Panelists: Marty Ralph, CW3E; Don Seymour, Sonoma Water; Greg Woodside, Orange County Water District; John James, Yuba Water; John Leahigh, CA DWR; Greg Volkhardt, Tacoma Water; Cary Talbot, USACE ERDC; Mike Anderson, CA DWR

FIRO Workshop Steering Committee

Marty Ralph, Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Cary Talbot, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center

Don Seymour, Sonoma Water

Greg Woodside, Orange County Water District

John James, Yuba Water Agency

John Leahigh, California Department of Water Resources

Dustin Jones, California Department of Water Resources