This white paper describes how our team of engineers and scientists designed and deployed a decision support system (DSS) that will enhance flood operations in the Yuba-Feather river system—a complex, multiple-reservoir system managed by multiple agencies.
The Yuba-Feather river system is located in Northern California in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The watershed, subject to orographic precipitation enhancement during large scale winter storms, includes populated areas at the confluences of major streams, some regulated and some not. Agencies at local, state, and federal levels monitor and manage flood waters. These agencies include the Yuba County Water Agency, California Department of Water Resources, National Weather Service (NWS), and US Army Corps of Engineers.
The agencies sought to enhance their capability to work together in a synergistic way to reduce flood risk to life and property. To achieve this, the team planned, designed, developed, and implemented a reservoir operation DSS that fosters communication and leverages expertise of agencies without hampering their ability to satisfy their individual missions. The DSS incorporates real-time data compiled and stored by the California Data Exchange Center, NWS streamflow forecasts produced using the Community Hydrologic Prediction System, an HEC-ResSim reservoir simulation model, and a graphical user interface. This white paper describes the organizational structure of the DSS and shows how the DSS improves coordination in the Yuba-Feather system during flood events. Limited descriptions of modeling applications (e.g., HEC-ResSim) are included.