SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A recently completed river-flow and reservoir management demonstration project shows how a new technology can help California generate more electricity and save water. The Integrated Forecast and Management (INFORM) system has the potential to boost hydroelectric production by up to 20% while increasing water supplies by up to 50%. INFORM was developed by the Hydrologic Research Center (HRC), a San Diego non-profit research organization, and the Georgia Water Resources Institute (GWRI), in Atlanta, Georgia. The system used extended weather models and decision management models covering a network of Northern California reservoirs.
Growing concern over climate change inspired the INFORM project. Climate change is expected to create even greater water management and energy issues for California in the coming decades. The recent energy crisis and ongoing water shortage highlight California’s vulnerability to heat waves and drought. As the climate continues to change, water and power will be in ever shorter supply – yet demand will continue to grow. Scientists have already seen a trend toward earlier onset of spring – and less water from mountain snowmelt available in summer.
This troublesome trend is expected to accelerate according to an assessment study of the climate impacts for California. As the United Nations just concluded their climate summit in Bali, Indonesia without any specific targets for reduction in greenhouse gases, California must continue to seek ways it can both reduce its impact on global warming and adapt to climate change. Technology, like the system developed by HRC, will help California immensely. More hydropower means less carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas responsible for the warming trend.
Both the climate change assessment study and the demonstration project completed by HRC were sponsored by the California Energy Commission (http://www.energy.ca.gov/pier/environmental/project_fact_sheets/ 500-02-008.html). The INFORM project was also sponsored by the California Bay Delta Authority and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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The Integrated Forecast and Management (INFORM) project developed by HRC and GWRI uses present-day weather, climate and hydrologic forecasts of precipitation, temperature, snowmelt and runoff. The INFORM system analyzes resulting flow into Northern California river and reservoir systems, together with increased demand scenarios and alternative management scenarios, for improved water-use efficiency. A second phase of the project will start in spring 2008.
About the Hydrologic Research Center (HRC)
The Hydrologic Research Center (HRC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation established in 1993 with a mandate of applying science for solutions to societal problems involving water. For more information on HRC and the INFORM project, contact Konstantine Georgakakos, 858-794-2726, firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information can be found on HRC’s website: http://www.hrc-lab.org/giving/FFGS_index.php.