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Water Data and Science Committee Meeting Summary July 1, 2020 Webinar–Dr. Daniel Wright, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Extreme Precipitation Events Research

  1. Call to Order—Chair Amy Shallcross DRBC -Amy called the committee to order at 10:03 a.m.  Central time.
  • Introductions of Participants on the call—Amy Shallcross, Chair, Sue Lowry, Matt Unruh, Michael Hill, Mike Robertson, Joy Loughry, Lauren Salvato, Wes Cattoor, Tom Littlepage, Adel Abdullah, Monty Porter, Fanghui Chen, 

Presentation title:  “Updating Rainfall statistics for Infrastructure Design in a Warming Climate:  Hydroclimate Extremes Research Group at the UW-Madison”.  Main focus is on extreme precipitation and related hazards such as flooding and landslides.  Developed software called “Rainy Day” which is publicly available, but takes training to run.  Research is working to document Impacts to infrastructure design, site development; floodplain mapping and insurance of extreme precipitation estimates that may be too low.  Long lifespans of water/flood prevention infrastructure and if wrong, have to live with it for 50 years or more.  NOAA has GUI showing precip frequency/duration.  Atlas 14 estimates 100-year, 24-hour storm and includes Intensity Duration curves. The research looked at the effective return period compared to Atlas 14 published values and it appears that over last few years that re-occurrence rate is higher than published Atlas 14.  For NE U.S. 100-year storm now to be a 20-year storm by late 21st century.  

Dr. Wright’s research includes: Part 1–WICCI Infrastructure Working Group—Part 2–Rainfall Project Updating rainfall statistics using recent storms.  Also examine larger climate implications. Part 3–Climate Model Downscaling. The research uses an array of recent storm events that have occurred in similar landscapes and predicts the impact in the study area had one of these regional storms occurred there.  Dr. Wright supports a role for NOAA, but there may be new approaches that yield better extreme event estimates than the dated Atlas 14 volumes. 

Wes Cattoor mentioned some recent work completed by the IL State Geologist’s office finding the same direction as documented by Dr. Wright.  An additional concern on IL’s part is the unwillingness of federal agencies to allow for any forecasted values to be included in the approval process for future infrastructure projects—FEMA particularly.  Wes is willing to contact the IL State Geological Survey if we would like to have a presentation on this work. 

  • Stakeholder letter supporting USGS Streamgaging networks
    • Letter delivered via email to House and Senate Appropriations committees—can take off for next mtg. 
  • All-committee webinar on July 13—Water Planning Committee on FEMA pre-disaster funding programs—All are invited—call is at 10 a.m. Central time. 
  • WD&S panel for October 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting—

The usual annual meeting request to USGS (Chad Wagner & Mindi Dalton) to provide an update on the main Water Mission area programs will be held during this committee’s session.  Since the meeting will be held virtually, we will also ask Don Cline to provide the management perspective to kick off the panel.  Amy will invite all 3.

Matt Unruh agreed to work on getting a speaker to discuss FIRO use in the mid-west.  Amy will reserve her NYC FIRO contacts until the 2021 annual meeting.

Sue will contact Veva Deheza and ask her to protect Oct. 8 on her calendar.  The NIDIS portion of the session will have Veva give the broad overview and then ask the newly created Southeast DEWS to discuss their formation process and first topics they plan to cover. 

  • Workplan development for the Committee
    • Workplan list review—ran out of time for this, but will make the next meeting longer to have time to hear a presentation and also get to the workplan topics.
    • Choose 1-3 topics to develop Statements of Principles—Amy mentioned that she has 3 topics in mind for the first round of principle statements. 
  • Other items for the Committee’s consideration 
    • Support for NOAA-NWS Atlas 14
    • Supporting NHD Plus and other mapping efforts
  • Recap of any action items-are shown in Bold in pertinent areas of the meeting summary. 
  1. Next call or webinar—Amy will follow-up on a speaker to discuss Paleo-drought research.  The next meeting will be set for 1 ½ hours to have time for discussing the workplan topics and prioritize for the Principles Statements for the late August Board Planning session.

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:

  • Letter supporting WUDR and requesting analysis to Molly Maupin (USGS)
  • Response from Kim Shaffer (USGS) providing information to our WUDR requests to Molly Maupin
  • Letter of Support of NWIS Modernization to Don Cline (USGS)
  • GOES Support letter to FCC

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.