Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - 11

Figure 1: The Ventura County VCAHPS system
showing the NWM forecast along with
additional forecasts.

the Forest Service, could be informed by realtime, hind-casted and forecasted hydrologic
condition across the U.S. USDA scientists
and programs look forward to coordinating
with the National Drought Mitigation Center
(NDMC) and its partners in NOAA to find
new uses for the National Water Model.

San Antonio River Authority
The San Antonio River Authority
previously developed a flood forecasting
application that uses NEXRAD rainfall
precipitation estimates to drive hydrology
and hydraulic models in near-real time, then
map the floodplain and provide alerts at
selected locations every 15-20 minutes. The
application is part of the Authority's effort
to provide enhanced flash flood situational
awareness to local officials and emergency
responders and supplement the forecast
information the national weather models
currently provide. We view the National
Water Model (NWM) as the next generation
river and stream forecasting platform that
will alleviate the need for regional agencies/
authorities to take on the flood forecasting
role. As the NWM technology matures and
accuracy improves, we see potential for highresolution water quality and environmental
flow modeling, as well as a tool to evaluate
regional flow patterns that impact the bays
and estuaries of the San Antonio Bay.

Ventura County Watershed
Protection District
The VCWPD is using the National
Water Model as an additional ensemble

forecast to the existing
Ventura County Advance
Hydrologic Prediction
System (VCAHPS) and
displays it along with other
available forecast models.
Using the programming
hooks provided by NOAA,
VCWPD can access
underlying forecast data
for their National Water
Model website. VCWPD
uses this interface to pull
data for specific locations
in Ventura County. The
NWM forecasted flows can
then be plotted on existing
displays available through
the VCAHPS along with other forecasts
utilized by the District. A second Decision
Support System (figure 1) was developed
that shows all existing bridges in Ventura
County enabling comparison of the capacity
for water conveyance of the bridge versus the
forecasted maximum from the NWM. The
display changes color for bridges that have a
potential for overtopping based on the NWM
prediction. In the future, Ventura County
has plans to evaluate the NWM and provide
feedback to NOAA on local knowledge about
channel geometry, roughness and other
channel parameters used in the model.

KISTERS
KISTERS has developed a demonstration
project using NWM forecasts for flood
impacts at stream and street level. NWM
forecasts from NWS are ingested into
KISTERS' big data technology stack, which
compares these forecasts to federal, state and
local stream gage results. KISTERS utilizes
rating curves computed using the HAND
(Height Above Nearest Drainage) method
by the University of
Texas, Austin to convert
forecasted flow to water
level. Using open standard
web services, KISTERS
supplies forecasted
flow and precipitation,
computed water level,
and evaluations of
forecast data versus actual
gage measurements, to
Esri for geoprocessing
and the creation of inundation maps and
dashboards. Subsequently, each stream reach
and HAND elevation are associated with

emergency response address points to provide
actionable information products. Emergency
management professionals can easily view
approximate flood levels and address
inundation using NWM 18-hour (short-term)
and 10-day (mid-term) forecasts. The NWM
Web Portal and Data Viewer (figure 2) created
by KISTERS allows users to view and compare
all data supplied by the web services for
complete transparency. ■
Steve Kopp is a senior product engineer at Esri,
and has focused on the design and development
of GIS analysis software for more than 25 years.
He is currently co-chair of the AWRA
Technology Committee.
Contact: skopp@esri.com.

Coauthors:
Don Cline, USGS, dcline@usgs.gov
Chelcy Miniat, USDA Office of the Chief
Scientist Chelcy.Miniat@osec.usda.gov
Carl Lucero and John Rothlisberger, USDA
Forest Service Research and Development 
David Levinson, USDA Forest Service
National Forest System 
Steve Evett, USDA Agricultural
Research Service 
Mark Brusberg, USDA Office of the Chief
Economist 
Martin Lowenfish and Mike Strobel, USDA
Natural Resources Conservation Service 
Wayne Tschirhart, San Antonio River
Authority, wtschirhart@sara-tx.org
Bruce Rindahl, Ventura County Watershed
Protection District,
Bruce.Rindahl@ventura.org
Scott Holder, Ventura County Watershed
Protection District, 
Scott.Holder@ventura.org
Matt Ables, CEO KISTERS North America,
matt.ables@kisters.net

Figure 2: KISTERS NWM Viewer showing
historic rainfall of hurricane Harvey
approaching the Texas coast, and a forecasted
runoff hydrograph from the National Water
Model, water level, and precipitation rate.
Volume 20 * Number 1 www.awra.org * 11


http://www.awra.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018

President’s Message
The National Water Model Vision
Transforming NOAA Water Prediction: The New National Water Model
Perspectives on the National Water Model
FloodCast: A Framework for Enhanced Flood Event Decision Making for Transportation Resilience
Hurricane Harvey and the National Water Model
Contributions of the Academic Community in Advancing the National Water Model
Turning on the Faucet: Making National Water Model Data Flow
The New Economics of Water: Balancing Urban and Agricultural Water Needs on Colorado’s Front Range
What’s Up with Water: United We Stand, Divided We Fall: States Rights and WOTUS Rule
International Conference Recap
AWRA State Section and Student Chapter News
December JAWRA Highlights
In Memoriam: Ari Michelsen
2018-2019 Richard A. Herbert Memorial Scholarship Opportunities
AWRA Board of Directors 2018 Call for Nominations
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - Intro
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - cover1
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - cover2
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - 3
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - 4
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - President’s Message
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - The National Water Model Vision
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - 7
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - Transforming NOAA Water Prediction: The New National Water Model
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - 9
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - Perspectives on the National Water Model
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - 11
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - FloodCast: A Framework for Enhanced Flood Event Decision Making for Transportation Resilience
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - 13
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - Hurricane Harvey and the National Water Model
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - 15
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - 16
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - Contributions of the Academic Community in Advancing the National Water Model
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - 18
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - Turning on the Faucet: Making National Water Model Data Flow
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - 20
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - The New Economics of Water: Balancing Urban and Agricultural Water Needs on Colorado’s Front Range
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - What’s Up with Water: United We Stand, Divided We Fall: States Rights and WOTUS Rule
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - 23
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - 24
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - International Conference Recap
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - AWRA State Section and Student Chapter News
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - December JAWRA Highlights
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - In Memoriam: Ari Michelsen
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - 2018-2019 Richard A. Herbert Memorial Scholarship Opportunities
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - AWRA Board of Directors 2018 Call for Nominations
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - cover3
Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - cover4
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