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The National Flood Interoperability

Experiment:
Leveraging Partnerships to explore the
future of flood forecasting
David R. Maidment
Center for Research in Water Resources
University of Texas at Austin

Edward Clark
National Water Center
NOAA/National Weather Service

National Water Center


Vision:

Scientific excellence and innovation driving water prediction and decisions for a
water-resilient nation.

Mission:
The NWC collaboratively researches, develops and delivers state-of-the
science, National hydrologic analyses, forecast information, data, decisionsupport services and guidance to support and inform essential emergency
services and water management decisions.

Through partnerships, it integrates and supports consistent water prediction


activities from global to local levels.

7/21/2015

PRE-

Inaugural Meeting May, 2014

The Email
Proposed by Dr. Maidment:
A real-time flood inundation and mapping
facility running for the CONUS in a
demonstration mode

Leverage a number of existing tools and


techniques

Couple targeted academic curricula with new


data sets/ accessible services

Develop new GIS tools with private sector


partners

Hold a student hack-a-thon Summer


Institute

a stretch goal to explore what some aspects of


a Common Operating Picture and
GeoIntelligence laboratory could be, and also
make more real some elements of a National
Water Data Infrastructure

Why People
On Average, more people die annually from flooding than from
any other form of natural disaster

Spatial Distribution of
Flood Fatalities 2007-2013
(source: NWS StormDat)

Low water crossing

Goals
National Flood Interoperability Experiment
Close the gap between national flood forecasting
and local emergency response
-

Impact at the street level

Explore real-time flood information services


-

Shared among organizations, geographies, people

Engage academic community through the National


Water Center
-

Innovation for transformative change

Glimpse the future of hydrologic forecasting

Partnership with the academic research


community
National Weather Service has joined with CUAHSI to
conduct a one-year National Flood Interoperability
Experiment (NFIE)
Includes a Summer Institute for students and faculty
at the National Water Center, June 1 to July 17, 2015

Why Transform the NOAA and NWS


Forecasting paradigm

Forecasts produced by River Forecasts


-

Current system 3600 locations


Future 2.67 million locations

700 times more

New Information to help emergency managers


to save lives and keep people safe
Current

Proposed

NFIE Goal: Connect National Scale Flood Modeling with


Local emergency planning and response

Normal

Medium

High

Flood Risk Condition Status

1. How can near-real-time hydrologic


simulations at high spatial
resolution, covering the nation, be
carried out using the NHDPlus or
next generation hydro-fabric (e.g.
data structure for hillslope,
watershed scales)?
2. How can this lead to improved
emergency response and community
resilience?
3. How can an improved
interoperability framework support
the first two goals and lead to
sustained innovation in the research
to operations process?

Thanks to so many who contributed

NFIE Summer Institute students youre the best!

Don Cline, Ed Clark, National Weather Service

Emily Clark and Rick Hooper, CUAHSI

Andy Ernest, Sagy Cohen, Sarah Praskievicz, Joseph


Gutenson, Univ. of Alabama

Marcelo Somos Valenzuela and Fernando Salas, Univ.


of Texas

Kristin Tolle and Prashant Dhingra, Microsoft Research

Jim Nelson, BYU and Ray Idaszak, UNC

David Tarboton, Utah State and Barbara Minsker,


UIUC

Flood Disaster in Texas, May 2015

Swift water rescue

Enough rain to cover entire state in 8 of water


70 Texas counties declared flood disaster areas by the state

More than 30 flood deaths, other people are still missing

Transformative Research (NSF)


Transformative research involves ideas,
discoveries, or tools that radically change
our understanding of an important existing
scientific or engineering concept or
educational practice or leads to the creation
of a new paradigm or field of science,
engineering, or education. Such research
challenges current understanding or
provides pathways to new frontiers.
http://www.nsf.gov/about/transformative_research/definition.jsp

How to move from evolutionary change


to transformative change?

Goal of the Experiment

Close the gap between National Flood Forecasting


and Local Emergency Response

Demonstrate forecasting of flood impacts at stream


and street level
National

Weather and Hydrology


National Weather Service and federal agencies
National Water Center

River Flooding and Emergency Response


Local

Local, State and Regional Agencies


Citizens

NFIE Conceptual Framework

NFIE-Geo:
National
geospatial
framework for
hydrology

NFIE-Response:
Wide area planning
for flood
emergency
response

NFIE-Hydro:
National high
spatial resolution
hydrologic
forecasting

NFIE-River: River
channel information
and real-time flood
inundation mapping

NFIE-Services: Web services for flood information

NHDPlus Version 2
Geospatial foundation for a national water data infrastructure

NHDPlus
2.67 million reach catchments in US
average area 3 km2
reach length 2 km
Uniquely labelled

National Elevation Dataset

Watershed Boundary Dataset

National Hydrography Dataset

National Land Cover Dataset

NFIE-Geo for National Flood Interoperability Experiment


Enhanced geospatial database for a national water data infrastructure

NWS Basins and


Forecast Points

National Flood
Hazard Layer

USGS Water Watch


Points

Feature classes:

NFIE-Geo
9 feature classes
5 from NHDPlus
4 from IWRSS

NHDPlus

Subwatershed (HUC12)
Catchment
Flowline
Waterbody
Streamgage

NFIE-Geo for Travis and Williamson


Counties 500 catchments per county

National Flood Interoperability Experiment


Why? People

2 AM, 18 Sept 2014

Low water
crossing on
Bear Creek

Deputy Hollis and Flood Information

NHDPlus contains a catchment


for Bear Creek

An operational NFIE forecasting system


could have helped her

High Performance Computing: Stampede

1.2 million gallon cooling tank

500,000 processors operating in parallel

21

NFIE-Hydro Forecasting Model


Computed for the continental US in 10 minutes at Texas Advanced Computing Center

Weather model and forecasts (HRRR)

Probabilistic flood forecasts

Catchmentlevel forecasts

Weather

Precipitation

Streamflow

Runoff

WRF-Hydro
Land-Atmosphere Model (NOAH-MP)

RAPID flow routing (for continental US)

Probability of Flooding on Shoal Ck, Austin, Tx


HEC-RAS
model
Rating
curves
library
ECMWFRAPID
flow
forecasts

Deterministic
flood maps

Probabilistic
flood maps

Ensemble of 50 flood forecasts

Transformative for the nation

Forecasts produced by

Current system 6000 locations


NFIE system 2.67 million locations

400 times more

New Information to help emergency managers save


lives and keep people safe
Current

Proposed in NFIE

Connecting with Local Decision Makers

Work with the first response


community to improve preplanning and flood operations

Harry Evans
Austin Fire Dept

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ympaR6YUxiA&feature=youtube