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Water Data and Science Committee Meeting Summary February 27, 2020 Conference Call

  1. Call to Order—Chair Amy Shallcross DRBC—Amy called to order at 10:03 a.m. Central. 
  • Introductions of Participants on the call:  :  Amy Shallcross, Chair; Sue Lowry, ICWP; Tom Littlepage, Brian Atkins, Mark Glaudemans, Adel Abdallah; Joy Loughry; Wes Cattoor, Sam Swartz, Shawn Jackson, Matt Unruh, Wade Loseman.
  • Drought cross cutting topic among all committees
    • Veva Deheza suggested for first all-committee webinar—Sue will check on Veva’s availability to present at all committee webinar in mid to late April. The webinar could be longer, up to two hours, and Veva may want to ask someone else to also speak on the webinar. Veva is also speaking at the Washington Roundtable and Sue will ask her to add the development of the dashboards to her talk. Tom Little page is aware of the regional dashboards being developed and asked whether NIDIS may have a national strategy. Tom also mentioned that NIDIS is developing a flash drought workshop. NIDIS is also holding three public meetings across the southeast for an expanded DEWS in that area.
  • Workplan development for the Committee
    • Workplan list—what’s do-able for 2020—Amy asked the committee to look at the list on the second page of the agenda. The highlighted topics ranked high in the members survey from last fall.
    • Choose 1-3 topics to develop Statements of Principles
  • Other items for the Committee’s consideration 
    • Development of 2020 Stakeholder Support letter for USGS streamgaging
      • Review letter
        • Sue just received the FY20 numbers from Chad Wagner, USGS, and has not yet had time to get the new numbers inserted into the letter. Tom asked a question about the cooperating matching funds and it was agreed that the letter should focus on the changes we’re requesting relative to last year’s budget and what we want USGS to accomplish with the additional dollars.
      • Review stakeholder list—Sue asked the committee members to send contact information for any other NGO groups that might be willing to sign on to the streamgage support letter. Please send those by March 5.
  • Committee Support activities:
    • NOAA-NWS Atlas 14 Point Precipitation Frequency Estimates (Atlas 14) –Background document was sent to committee members for last meeting—Mark Glaudemans joined the call and stated that he is working on an updated Atlas 14 fact sheet. Sue said if the fact sheet was ready prior to the middle of March, she would be happy to include in the packets for the Washington DC roundtable. The NWS budget goes through the Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations subcommittee. Sue will work on finding a contact there. ICWP could get behind a request for $1 million per year for seven years. which would be adequate funding to update the Atlas 14 Report for the full country. Mark mentioned another goal is to add non-stationarity analysis, but that may involve additional dollars.
    • NHD, NHDPlus-HR budget or other support—Sue will get in touch with JB Byrd and find out whether his coalition has worked on NHDPlus funding.
    • Federal Action Plan-Improving Forecasts of Water Availability—Tom raised the question that on page 10 of the action plan it discusses modeling efforts fine tuning down to daily estimates. He felt that might be unreasonable and not an appropriate use of the data collected by the states.
  • Recap of any action items
    • Tom mentioned the usefulness of the WUDR for talk presented yesterday by the Texas Water Development Board on dashboards for displaying water use data. Sue will send the PowerPoint presentation to the committee.
    • Future webinar speakers and topics include Chad Wagner to discuss the criteria for selecting the next NGWOS basins, perhaps in May. Amy also has speakers in mind to discuss Paleo drought and the IWAA program within the USGS.
    • Additional NGO’s to ask to sign the streamgage letter to Sue by 3/5
  • Next call or webinar—Check on Veva Deheza’s availability for mid-late April. 

Water Data and Science Committee:  Mission is to educate ICWP members on current data and science trends and to advocate support for data and science programs at the national level.

2019 Accomplishments:

Issues for 2020 Workplan

  1. Potential ICWP Support of USGS Efforts
    1. USGS NGWOS—including future basin selections
    1. Water-Use Data and Research—Review next USGS compilations
    1. IWAA indices that make sense as indicators (Mindi request at Mobile)
    1. Review of NAS Study on USGS Water Discipline
    1. Multi-Signature support letter for Streamgaging Programs
      1. Early spring letter signed by stakeholders
      1. Letter in the fall signed by states/interstates/tribes
  2. Climate/Weather Extremes/Drought
    1. Flash Droughts
    1. NIDIS/NDRP—Support baseline, firm funding source for US Drought Monitor
    1. Support for a 2nd product similar to USDM specific to ag relief programs
    1. Support for expansion of Drought Impacts Reporter
    1. Baseline for determining Climate Change
    1. Paleo-drought studies
  3. Other items the Committee could explore:
    1. Internet of Water
    1. Data Portals/Data Exchange
    1. Support for NRCS Snow Survey Program
  4. National Water Model Priorities
    1. Especially understanding the underlying models and how those could be used by others
    1. Support for NHDPlusHR and its modeling capabilities
  5. Tracking of Emerging Tools or Trends in Water Data/Science
    1. Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations
    1. Seasonal to Sub-Seasonal Forecasting
    1. NASA Western Water Office—Adel will keep the committee apprised of any activities of interest beyond the western states.