Friday June 10, 2022

Courthouse News Service

As the drought in California and across much of the western United States enters another summer season, several experts participated in a conference hosted by the California Department of Water Resources and the Water Education Foundation on Thursday to discuss issues of how modeling precipitation can impact decisions made by policymakers.

One of the main takeaways of the conference was that the current modeling programs are not effective as they should be in helping water districts, state water agencies and federal departments in planning water distributions.

Jeanine Jones, interstate resources manager for the California Department of Water Resources, said modeling by the National Weather Service is more focused on short-term forecasts, weather events that impact health and safety and lack the precision to conduct long term forecasts called season-to-season modeling.

“NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the National Weather Service are more focused on the issues impacting the eastern United States such as hurricanes and do not allocate a lot of money for long term modeling for the western United States,” said Jones.

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