NOAA recently completed a service assessment aimed at identifying resource management decisions that were affected by the current drought in California and to assess the use and effectiveness of NOAA forecasts, indices, monitoring data, and services that are available to decision makers and stakeholders. The report refers to importance of HMT research and stakeholder engagement on several occasions. In particular, the following high level finding (HLF) and recommendation were part of the report:
For more than two decades, HMT has been involved in a number of research initiatives across California to address water issues – from too much to not enough. Recent HMT activities include a partnership with the California Department of Water Resources to implement a state-of-the-art observing system across California to help deal with its water resource and flood protection issues. HMT scientists will participate in the Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations workshop in California in July 2015. The purpose of the workshop is to develop a pilot project that will demonstrate how forecasts can be used to help guide decisions about releases from Lake Mendocino, a critical reservoir for the Sonoma County Water Agency on the Russian River north of San Francisco. Federal agencies participating in the project are NOAA, USGS, USBR, and USACE. HMT is also leading three out of the five collaborative projects that are part of the NOAA Habitat Blueprint Focus Area on the Russian River.
NOAA's National Weather Service conducts Service Assessments to evaluate its performance after significant hydrometeorological, oceanographic, or geological events. Assessments may be initiated when one or more of the following criteria are met:
Assessment teams, composed of experts from within and outside the NWS, evaluate activities before, during, and after events to determine the usefulness of NWS products and services.The team generates a report, which serves as an evaluative tool to identify and share best practices in operations and procedures, and identify and address service deficiencies. The goal of the activity is for the NWS to continuously improve its services to the nation.
Contact: Rob Cifelli