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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Boise, Idaho » Northwest Watershed Research Center » Research » Research Project #437919

Research Project: Operation and Development of iSnobal model for Kings River

Location: Northwest Watershed Research Center

Project Number: 2052-13610-012-32-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Mar 1, 2020
End Date: Feb 28, 2025

Objective:
The objective of this agreement is for the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), in coordination with California Department of Water Resources (CDWR), to run and maintain near real time iSnobal simulation in the Kings River Watershed for water year 2020 and 2021 using the Automated Water Supply Model (AWSM). The snowpack state will be updated periodically with Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) snow depth measurements. Simulation results will provide valuable snowpack information to the Kings River Watershed Association (KWRA) and help achieve the broader goal of advancing runoff forecasting through physically based modeling and measurements. The long-term goal of the project with ARS is to develop a water supply forecasting tool that estimates inflow to the reservoir, using models that are consistent with the larger CDWR effort. Currently, ARS has made significant advancements in the spatial snow model that, at the moment, provides extremely useful information on the water stored in the snowpack. The goal would be to transfer the current technology, a spatial snowmelt model with updating from lidar overflights, to enable KWRA to simulate the snowpack in the Kings River. ARS will work with KWRA to provide the necessary training, model simulation support and continual model updates as the project progresses.

Approach:
Provide KWRA managers information on the modeled snowpack through real time simulations of the snowpack state using a physically based snow model, iSnobal, for the Kings River Watershed. The project will utilize the Automated Water Supply Model (AWSM) to facilitate the iSnobal simulations and ASO updating after an overflight to produce timely reports about the current snowpack state. ARS will maintain AWSM for the Kings River Watershed throughout the snow season from October to July and provide modeled density to ASO associated with an overflight.