2nd UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Norman Breuer
Session Name Poster Session: Managing Water and Energy in a Transitioning Environment 1
Category Managing water and energy in a transitioning environment
Poster Number 305
Author(s) Norman E. Breuer,  University of Miami/ SECC
  Pam Knox,  University of Georgia/GA Assistant State Climatologist
  Christopher Martinez, University of Florida
  Puneet Srivastava, Auburn University
  David Stooksbury, University of Georgia and GA State Climatologist
  Southeast Water Climate: science and stakeholder co-development of a decision support system to reduce climate risk in water management
  Climate variability and change are factors that should be taken into account within the water management decision-making environment. The El Niño-Southern Oscillation phenomenon (ENSO) causes variations in precipitation and temperature in the southeastern United States. For ENSO to be taken into account by water managers, reliable scientific information must be available, accessible, accurate, and trustworthy. The Southeast Climate Consortium (SECC) has a history of providing climate information for adaptations in agriculture (www.agroclimate.org). Methodologies and lessons learned during the development of Agroclimate are being used to develop a web-based climate decision support system to mitigate risks in water management. The proposed website, www.sewaterclimate.org, is being built in a consensual manner by scientists from six universities in three states (FL, AL, GA) through an iterative process of consultation, feedback, and co-development with potential end-users. The decision support system will provide quantitative information on impacts of climate (especially El Niño), forecasts on drought and flood, evaporation, lakes levels, and stream flows. Key to the successful use of the decision support system by water managers are a series of tools that are currently under development. These include an evaporation tool, a drought monitor and forecast tool, and a stream flow calculator tool. The tools are planned to consist of interactive screens with default coefficients and pre-run results in a database. Stakeholders may substitute parameters for their geographical area and obtain site-specific outputs upon which to base management decisions. To this downstream interactivity and specificity is added an upstream component linking southeast water climate with regional and national water and drought sites such as the US Drought Monitor and the NIDIS Drought Portal. It is expected that this climate-water decision support system will become an integral reference for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) nascent climate services division, and aid improved water management.