US Army Corps of Engineers
Institute for Water Resources

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Institute for Water Resources Spotlighted in National Weather Service Hydrology Program News

Published Dec. 24, 2013
Cover of the September 2013 issue of Confluence, the National Weather Service Hydrology Program News.

Cover of the September 2013 issue of Confluence, the National Weather Service Hydrology Program News.

Illinois Flooding in April 2013

Illinois Flooding in April 2013

Flooding at Meadowbrook Drive, Lowndes County, Georgia

Flooding at Meadowbrook Drive, Lowndes County, Georgia

A Flood Inundation Map (FIM) is a real-time, operational tool that visually relates USGS streamgage readings and NWS river forecasts to flood risk for the primary purpose of public safety.

A Flood Inundation Map (FIM) is a real-time, operational tool that visually relates USGS streamgage readings and NWS river forecasts to flood risk for the primary purpose of public safety.

Background Flood Inundation Mapping slide from presentation at September 2013 USGS-USACE Quarterly Meeting.

Background Flood Inundation Mapping slide from presentation at September 2013 USGS-USACE Quarterly Meeting.

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.  The Institute for Water Resources (IWR) was recently spotlighted in the September 2013 edition of Confluence, the National Weather Service Hydrology Program News. The article discussed the history of IWR and its mission as a "forward-looking" field element of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

One of IWR's roles is national interface, participating on behalf of USACE in many water resources technical collaborations with other federal, state and local agencies, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations.

One such collaboration is with the National Weather Service (NWS) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) as part of the Integrated Water Resources Science and Systems (IWRSS) partnership. IWRSS brings these federal agencies together with USACE to leverage our complementary water resources capabilities and missions to help address key national and regional water resources issues, with each agency bringing its unique expertise in science, water resources services and the use of analytical tools in order to jointly improve integrated water resources management throughout the U.S.

The work of IWR's Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC) as the USACE designated center of expertise in hydrology, river hydraulics, reservoir system analysis, and real-time water control management has been particularly relevant to the USACE's IWRSS collaboration.

Two key activities of the partnership are developing a common operating platform for providing national flood inundation mapping services and ensuring that each agency’s information can be seamlessly shared through improved system interoperability and data synchronization.

"I’m delighted that the Institute, through its Hydrologic Engineering Center led by HEC Director Chris Dunn, is playing a key technical role in the charter efforts," IWR Director Robert Pietrowsky said in the article.

Interagency workgroups established last year have recently produced requirements documents that show a path forward for better integrating the agencies' flood mapping and related water services in the future. A third chartered activity is currently being formulated related to the long-term collaborative development of a new national hydrological  model based on an earth-systems context that integrates next generation hydrologic and atmospheric modeling capabilities within the U.S.

The IWRSS team's progress towards improved data sharing and model integration will conserve resources; deliver more accurate, consistent and timely forecasts; and provide USACE with more informed water management decision-making capabilities during critical real-time operations of USACE reservoirs and other water control structures across the U.S.

More about the NWS Office of Hydrologic Development

Confluence, the National Weather Service Hydrology Program News, is published by the National Weather Service Office of Hydrologic Development. The Office of Hydrologic Development conducts basic hydrologic science research, develops hydrologic techniques for operational use, manages hydrologic development through National Weather Service field offices, and provides advanced hydrologic products. Its Hydrology Laboratory conducts studies, investigations and analyses leading to the application of new scientific and computer technologies for hydrologic forecasting and related water resources problems.

More about IWR

IWR serves as the  USACE knowledge center for integrated water resources management and is recognized as a national center of expertise in water resources planning methods, risk analysis, hydrologic engineering, conflict resolution and public participation, international water resources, global climate change science, and the collection, management and dissemination of Civil Works program information and navigation related infrastructure performance information, including the Nation’s waterborne commerce data.

IWR has offices at five locations, each of which is a USACE designated center of expertise.  IWR’s main office located in Alexandria, VA includes the Institute’s executive office and the critical mass of its planning methodologies, socio-economic and strategic planning expertise; the Navigation and Civil Works Decision Support Center (NDC); the International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM), under the auspices of UNESCO; and the Conflict Resolution and Public Participation Center of Expertise (CPCX).