Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations Town Hall Held at the American Meteorological Society 100th Annual Meeting

January 14, 2020

CW3E Director F. Martin Ralph organized and facilitated a Town Hall at the 100th Annual American Meteorological Society (AMS) meeting in Boston on January 14, 2020. The Town Hall presented a working definition of Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations to be included in the AMS Glossary of Meteorology and invited the community’s feedback. Panelists included Dave Curtis of West Consultants, Jeff Zimmerman of the National Weather Service Western Region, and Cary Talbot of the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center. Each discussed the importance of Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations for western United States water management resiliency from their different perspectives. The working definition, as presented at the Town Hall, is:

Forecast-informed reservoir operations (FIRO) is a reservoir-operations strategy that uses enhanced monitoring and improved weather and water forecasts to inform decision making to selectively retain or release water from reservoirs to optimize water supply reliability and environmental co-benefits and to enhance flood-risk reduction.

The many helpful comments and suggestions brought up during the panel discussion will be carefully considered by three FIRO Steering Committees and before it is finalized for submission to the Glossary.

A recording of the Town Hall can be found here.

FIRO Town Hall during Cary Talbot’s presentation. At table from left: Chad Hecht, CW3E Staff Researcher coordinating the A/V; CW3E Director Marty Ralph; Dave Curtis of West Consultants; and Jeff Zimmerman of National Weather Service Western Region..