Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar

Advancing Water Supply Forecasts in the Colorado River Basin for Improved Decision Making by Paul Micheletty, Research Hydrologist at RTI International

Abstract:  Water supply forecasting in the western United States is inextricably linked to snowmelt processes, as approximately 70-85% of total annual runoff comes from water stored in seasonal mountain snowpacks. Snowmelt-generated streamflow is vital to a variety of downstream uses; the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB) alone provides water supply for 25 million people, irrigation water for 3.5 million acres, and drives hydropower generation at Lake Powell. April-July water supply forecasts produced by the National Weather Service (NWS) Colorado Basin River Forecast Center (CBRFC) are critical to basin water management. The primary objective of this project as part of the NASA Water Resources Applied Science Program, is to improve water supply forecasting for the UCRB by assimilating satellite and ground snowpack observations into distributed hydrologic models. In addition, we are working with stakeholders Denver Water and the Dolores Water Conservancy District to demonstrate how the probabilistic ensemble forecast information can be used to improve water management decision making.

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    Meeting ID: 540 961 8610


Wednesday, March 20, 2019
11:00 am to 12:00 pm




  • CIRES employees
  • CU Boulder employees
  • General Public
  • NOAA employees
  • Science collaborators
  • Open to Public


Mistia Zuckerman


NSIDC, RL-2, Room 155/153