Friday May 12, 2023


Wet, snowy winters bring big decisions for Northern California water managers.

Now, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working on modernizing how those decisions are made by incorporating weather forecasts into official flood control operations.

Dr. Cary Talbot is part of the research and development team with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates more than 70 dams and reservoirs in the Sacramento region.

Talbot says that historically, decisions on how much water to release and when has been based on recent rainfall and snowpack measurements.

“That’s a very safe way to operate, right? But it’s also very reactionary,” he said.

Talbot is the program manager for the Corp’s Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations program. He says that significant improvements in forecast accuracy and changes in the climate in the West motivate the project.

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