Water Resources - IMPACT - January 2018 - 18

To support this mission, the NWS
partnered with CUAHSI to engage the
academic community in research through
a seven-week Summer Institute (SI) at the
National Water Center, bringing graduate
students, their faculty advisors and others
from the research community together
with NWC staff to conduct group projects
that involve rapid prototyping of new
ideas and concepts. The intent is to create
an innovation incubator for the NWM
where students from many universities
can exchange ideas and advance concepts
that, although developed over a short
timeframe and study areas, are illustrative
of issues that affect the functioning of the
NWM across the continental United States.
During the first three years of the SI, 105
students from 49 distinct universities were
trained. The 2016 SI resulted in a featured
collection of papers in the April 2017
issue of JAWRA, and a similar collection
is planned from the 2017 SI. The Summer
Institute is creating a growing community
of scientists, many of whom likely will
apply and enhance the NWM in their own
scientific research.
Students selected to participate in the
SI receive lodging accommodations and
a meal stipend, as well as reimbursement
of travel expenses. Dorm-style lodging is
provided at the University of Alabama. The
award also includes travel support for the
student's advisor to attend the Capstone
Meeting at University of Alabama upon
the completion of the program. In 2017,
the Capstone Meeting was immediately
followed by CUAHSI Hydroinformatics
Conference, at which students presented
their work and for which travel support for
interested student advisors also
was supported.
The first SI in 2015 focused on the
formation of a prototype NWM running
in the Texas Advanced Computing Center
of the University of Texas at Austin. The
prototype model demonstrated that the
streamflow on 2.7 million stream reaches
could be simulated and forecast using input
precipitation and weather information
produced by NOAA and a computational
framework called WRF-Hydro developed
at the National Center for Atmospheric

18 * Water Resources IMPACT

January 2018

Research (NCAR). WRF-Hydro is
a community-based, Earth System
Modeling Framework (ESMF) compatible
hydrologic modeling system. The key
innovation demonstrated at the first SI
was a hybrid grid-catchment information
framework for the NWM in which the
land-atmosphere computations were
carried out on square grid cells covering
the continental U.S., and the resulting
runoff was geographically transformed
onto the 2.7 million catchments of the
National Hydrography Dataset Plus
(NHDPlus) and routed through the
NHDPlus stream network.
By the time of the second SI in 2016,
a first version of the National Water
Model was in the process of being made
operational on NOAA computational
facilities, and the focus of the SI research
was on translating the forecasts of
streamflow into flood inundation maps
and flood emergency response. In advance
of the 2016 SI, the 10-meter National
Elevation Dataset was transformed into
a raster called Height Above Nearest
Drainage (HAND), in which each cell
contains the height difference between
its elevation and the elevation of the cell
in the NHDPlus stream reach to which
the cell drains. If the water-depth in
the stream is known, then the extent
of nearby flood inundation can be
determined by selecting the surrounding
cells with HAND values less than the
water depth. Coupled with flood forecasts
from the National Water Model, the
HAND approach establishes, for the first
time, a foundation for locally informative,
real-time flood inundation mapping
continuously across the continental
United States.
Science themes for the 2017 SI were:
(1) hyper-resolution hydrologic modeling;
(2) rapid deployment of flood inundation
map products from flood simulations;
and (3) development of effective flood
communication products. Remotesensing applications were available for use
by all themes. The hyper-resolution model
was applied to three difficult situations,
which included a snowmelt dominated
basin, an urban basin and a low-relief

watershed in Louisiana subject to frequent
floods. The HAND method was extended
from the 2016 SI by developing an
approach for generating synthetic rating
curves through the NHDPlus network.
Communication products were developed
based on surveys of areas subjected to
recent flooding, and included a web-based
application that integrated flood forecasts
with expected social impacts.
Planning for the 2018 SI is well
underway and themes likely will include
expansion of hyper-resolution modeling,
a computer-science theme leading to
perhaps a more efficient software package
with new capabilities, and testing and
enhancing NWM algorithms
for various hydrologic processes,
including groundwater.
A key to the success of the SI has been
the intellectual leadership of the academic
community. Theme leaders provide
guidance throughout the entire SI, and
others from the academic community
provide training and support as needed.
Support from the National Water Center
staff has been of growing importance
as more capability is added to the
NWC. Other organizations, including
especially NCAR, several commercial
partners and partners from all levels of
government have made the SI a unique
event in multi-disciplinary water-science
education. We are grateful to the National
Weather Service and the National Water
Center for hosting and supporting this
innovative and productive activity that is
contributing to the enhancement of water
prediction for our Nation. ■
Jerad Bales is executive director of
the Consortium of Universities for the
Advancement of Hydrologic Science
(CUAHSI), a nonprofit research organization
that supports development of infrastructure
and services for the advancement of
water science in the United States. Prior
to CUAHSI, Bales was the U.S. Geological
Survey's Chief Scientist for Water.

Coauthor:
Daniel P. Ames, Brigham Young
University, dan.ames@byu.edu



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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