IEEE 7th World Forum on Internet of Things
14 June–31 July 2021 // New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Flood Forecasting

 

 Monday June 21st, 2021 In Person and Virtual

  • Chair: David Bacon, Director of the Center for Atmospheric Physics of Leidos, Springfield, VA USA
US Eastern Time  Session   Speakers
08:30am-10:30am  

SPES10.1

 

 Data Acquisition for Flood Forecasting

 

“U.S. Geological Survey Water Data Collection and Delivery”, Janice M. Fulford, Water Mission Area-Observing Systems Director, U.S. Geological Survey, Bay St. Louis, MS USA

 

“The Internet of Water”, Peter Colohan, Executive Director, The Internet of Water, Duke University, Durham, NC USA

 

“PREFER:  Precise Regional Forecasting via Intelligent and Rapid Harnessing of National Scale Hydrometeorological Big Data”, Dr. Nianfeng Tzeng, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA USA

 01:30pm-3:30pm  

SPES10.2

 

 Data Analysis and Forecasting

 

“National Weather Service (NWS) Water Forecasting”, Ed Clark, Director, National Water Center, NWS Office of Water Prediction, Tuscaloosa, AL USA

 

“Precise Hydrological Predictions via Neural Networks”, Dr. Xu Yuan, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA USA

 04:00pm-06:00pm  

SPES10.3

 

 Flood Warning

 

“Time-of-Travel Predictions Using Real-Time Gauges”, William B. Samuels and Rakesh Bahadur, Leidos Center for Water, Falls Church, VA USA

 

<<  EPA Tank Alerting Program >> , Fran Kremer, EPA Office of Water, Washington, DC USA

 

“Simplifying the NWS Water / Flood Alerting / Reporting”, Ms. Mary Mullusky, Chief, Water Resources Services Branch, NWS Forecast Services Division, Silver Spring, MD USA

 

Description

The US Flood Forecasting system is based on the Internet.  The River and Tidal Gauges are all on the Internet.  The Analysis and Forecast System that converts these measurements along with forecasts of precipitation and other weather parameters into future flood stage forecasts are on the Internet.  And any Advisories, Watches, and Warnings are also on the Internet.  The Flood Forecasting vertical set of sessions for the 7th IEEE World Forum on the Internet of Things is intended to showcase this intersection between the US Flood Forecasting system and the Internet.

The three sessions are planned:  (1) Data; (2) Analysis & Forecasting; and (3) Alerting and Warning.  The first session will discuss the river and tidal gauges that are installed and run by the US Geological Survey (USGS), the Internet of Water Initiative, and the use of Big Data techniques to utilize this data.  The second session is devoted to the water forecasting performed by the US National Weather Service (NWS) and other groups.  The third session will introduce the new NWS initiative to simplify the NWS Water / Flood Alerting / Reporting system as well as other groups producing water related hazard predictions.  Together, these three sessions will showcase the benefit of the Internet of Things as applied to Flood Forecasting.

 

Chair 

David Bacon, Director of the Center for Atmospheric Physics of Leidos  

Dr. David Bacon is Director of the Center for Atmospheric Physics of Leidos (formerly, Science Applications International Corporation).  For over 25 years, Dr. Bacon has led an organization that specializes in advancing the state-of-the-art in atmospheric simulation and numerical weather prediction and the atmospheric dispersion of hazardous aerosols and gases.  This includes nuclear, biological, and chemical material as well as smoke from biomass burning and dust from volcanic eruptions.  Dr. Bacon led the development of the Operational Multiscale Environment model with Grid Adaptivity (OMEGA), a revolutionary atmospheric simulation system based upon a dynamically adapting unstructured grid.  OMEGA is non-hydrostatic, contains complete bulk water microphysics and detailed Planetary Boundary Layer packages, and has an embedded Eulerian and Lagrangian Atmospheric Dispersion Model (ADM).  OMEGA is naturally scale spanning and is well suited to the study of multi-scale problems in the atmosphere.  A current study explores the spatial and temporal frequency of the generation of atmospheric gravity waves as well as conditions suitable for their lateral propagation.

OMEGA has been used for critical real-time site-specific and event-specific forecasting situations involving both severe or critical weather forecasting as well as forecasting dispersion in complex terrain and under data denied conditions.  This led to Dr. Bacon’s involvement with emergency management including the deployment of the Consequences Assessment Tools Set (CATS), originally developed to support the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to several national or regional disaster management centers.

 

Speakers

 

Session 1 (SPES10.1):  Data Acquisition for Flood Forecasting

Janice M. Fulford, Director, Observing Systems Division, U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area, Bay St. Louis, MS USA

Janice Fulford is the Director of the Observing Systems Division of the U.S. Geological Survey Water Mission Area.  The Division includes the Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility, the Hydrologic Network Branch and the Hydrologic Remote Sensing Branch that serve the Mission Area and the data collection activities of USGS Water Science Centers.  She has a Masters in Civil Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and also participates with the WMO as vice-chairperson on the Standing Committee on Measurement, Instrumentation, and Traceability and as a member of expert teams.  She served as Instrument Testing Chief for over 17 years at the Hydrologic Instrumentation Facility.  While Testing Chief she supervised the testing and quality assurance of a wide range of hydrologic instruments that are provisioned to Water Science Centers for the water data collection program, including water quality sensors, water velocity and level sensors and data collection platforms.

Talk Title (SPES10.1):  U.S. Geological Survey Water Data Collection and Delivery

Abstract: The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) measures water stage and/or discharge at over 10,000 sites throughout the contiguous United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.  Measurements made at a many of these sites are used by NOAA River Forecast Centers to forecast flood stages.  Site measurements typically include water level and flow and frequently include precipitation measurements.  An overview on the USGS water data collection network will be presented:  number and types of sites, how the data is collected, and quality assured and stored in the National Water Information System.  Additionally, data telemetry systems used by the network will be discussed as well as the delivery of the data to NOAA and to the public.

 

Peter Colohan, Executive Director, The Internet of Water, Duke University, Durham NC USA 

Peter Colohan is the Executive Director of the Internet of Water, a project based at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.  Peter comes to the IoW after nearly a decade of Federal service with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). At NOAA, Peter was a key advocate for the development of the National Water Model and the creation of the NOAA Water Initiative. He also served as a Federal Coordinating Lead Author for the Water Chapter of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, published in November 2018.  Peter was an enthusiastic participant in the 2017 Aspen Dialogue Series on Water Data, co-led by the Nicholas Institute, which led to the creation of the Internet of Water.

From 2012-2014, Peter served as the Assistant Director for Environmental Information within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under President Barack Obama, on assignment from NOAA, where he worked closely with all Federal agencies responsible for climate, water and environmental science and technology. Prior to his federal service, Peter advised NOAA as a consultant on the development of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), an intergovernmental body dedicated to the global exchange of environmental data and information. He served as that body’s Executive Officer from 2003 to 2005.

Peter is passionate about bringing together powerful coalitions of people, sectors, and organizations to solve problems.  He is fascinated by every aspect of water, especially rivers, reservoirs, and aquifers and how they relate to ideas of identity and place.  A great lover of maps, he is naturally enthusiastic about how maps and data can build a common starting point of truth for solving water problems.

Talk Title (SPES10.1): The Internet of Water

Abstract: Publicly collected water data–needed to answer fundamental water questions–are managed by multiple agencies across different scales of government and non-government organizations for different purposes.  Since these data are scattered across multiple platforms with different standards, much of it cannot be re-used beyond the primary purpose for which it was collected and is seldom transformed into information to support real-time decision-making.  The Internet of Water (IoW) project, initiated in 2018, seeks to address this challenge by advancing the transformation and modernization of water data infrastructure in the United States.  The IoW is developing low-cost technologies for sharing and integrating water data, building programs to strengthen water data literacy and technology adoption, and cultivating a broad community of practice to advance sustainable water management through shared and integrated water data.

 

Nian Tzeng, Professor, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, USA 

Nian-Feng Tzeng received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been with School of Computing and Informatics, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, since 1987, with his current research interests in the areas of high-performance computer systems, and parallel and distributed processing. As IEEE Fellow, Professor Tzeng was a recipient of the Outstanding Paper Award of the Tenth IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, in May 1990, and the University Foundation Distinguished Professor Award, in 1997. He was on the Editorial Board of the IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems from 1998 to 2001, and on the Editorial Board of the IEEE Transactions on Computers from 1994 to 1998. He was the Chair of Technical Committee on Distributed Processing, the IEEE Computer Society, from 1999 till 2002.

Talk Title (SPES10.1): PREFER – Precise Regional Forecasting via Intelligent and Rapid Harnessing of National Scale Hydrometeorological Big Data

Abstract: This 5-year NSF-funded project addresses precise regional forecasting via intelligent and rapid harness on national scale hydrometeorological Big Data, called PREFER.  It aims to improve weather prediction spatially and temporally, with its neural network model-based solutions applicable to all regions in the nation, for easy portability.  PREFER is being undertaken synergistically by collaborators across five universities in Louisiana, Alabama, and Kentucky, plus U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), to address such important problems as flood warning alerts, backwater wetland storage capacity investigation for river flood mitigation, and meteorological forecast applications, among others.

 

 

Session 2 (SPES10.2):  Data Analysis and Forecasting

Edward  Clark, Director, National Water Center, NWS Office of Water Prediction, Tuscaloosa, AL USA 

Edward Clark is the director of the NOAA National Water Center (NWC) in Tuscaloosa, AL, and deputy director of the National Weather Service Office of Water Prediction. Clark oversees operations, supports the management and strategic direction of the Office of Water Prediction, and facilitates collaborative efforts to evolve NOAA’s water prediction capabilities with federal, academic and private partners, the National Science Foundation, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, among others.

For the past 4 years, Clark has led the National Water Center’s Innovator’s Program, working closely with National Science Foundation, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences, Inc, and federal partners including the US Geological Survey, to explore and develop next generation national flood forecasting and emergency response operations. Before becoming director, Clark served as the director of Office of Water Prediction’s Geo-Intelligence Division. He worked closely with multiple federal agency partners, including USGS, USACE and FEMA, on a variety of projects associated with the Integrated Water Resources Science and Services consortium.

Prior to serving as the director, Ed served in National Weather Service headquarters as the National Flash Flood Service Leader in the Analyze, Forecast, and Support Office. Clark began his career in the National Weather Service as an operational hydrologic forecaster, working as a senior hydrologist at the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center in Salt Lake City for seven years. He is a civil engineer by training with an emphasis in water resources and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Utah.

Talk Title (SPES10.2): NWS Water Forecasting

 

Xu Yuan, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA USA  

Xu Yuan is a Handy Edmiston Endowed Assistant Professor in the School of Computing and Informatics at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He received B.S. degree from Nankai University, China, in 2009, and the Ph.D. degree from the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Tech, in 2016. From 2016 to 2017, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow of Electrical and Computer Engineering with the University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. He was a receipt of NSF CRII Award. His research interests include wireless networks, mobile computing, security and privacy, AI, and machine learning.

Talk Title (SPES10.2): Precise Hydrological Predictions via Neural Networks

Abstract: Precise weather forecasting regionally is a problem of national importance but remains challenging.  In this talk, we will first present a deep learning-based prediction model, called Micro-Macro, aiming to precisely forecast the basic weather conditions in the fine temporal resolution.  Our model takes advantage of the BIG DATA, available from two sources:  the atmospheric numerical output of WRF-HRRR (the weather research and forecasting model with high-resolution rapid refresh) and the ground observations of stream gauges deployed along the Vermillion River in Lafayette, Louisiana for accurately predicting the discharge, gauge height level, and mean water velocity, which are essential for flood warning.

 

Dave Jones, Founder and CEO, StormCenter Communications, Inc.

Dave Jones is the founder and CEO of StormCenter Communications, Inc., a small business that focuses on delivering science data to decision makers in a collaborative environment. This US Federal Government award-winning technology, called GeoCollaborate, is being adopted by US Federal Agencies, States and private sector organizations to more effectively share trusted data across organizations and platforms and can address issues such as climate resilience planning, energy and transportation, food, agriculture, healthcare, cyber and homeland security and of course the Internet of Things (IoT).

Dave is a 35+ year veteran of the weather industry and was an on-air meteorologist for NBC4 WRC-TV, the NBC Owned and Operated TV station in Washington, DC for nearly a decade in the 1990s. He also appeared multiple times on the NBC Today Show, NBC Europe and CNBC Asia.  While working for NBC, Dave developed the FIRST television weather website in the nation in 1995 and launched a new era in communicating NASA and NOAA data to the public. The website, “WeatherNet4” positioned NBC4 in Washington, DC and NBC across the nation as a broadcast leader and early innovator of Internet technology.

Dave is the co-chair of the Earth Science Information Partner (ESIP) Disaster Lifecycle Cluster and has recently helped evolve Operational Readiness Levels (ORLs) for trusted data to drive decision making, particularly among non-science experts. DHS, FEMA and other agencies are looking to put ORLs to work as a basis of trust for making rapid decisions that save lives and property. Because of this work, StormCenter Communications, Inc. was nominated and selected as ESIP’s Partner of the Year for 2020.

Talk Title (SPES10.2):  Delivering Data in a Real-Time Synchronous Cross-Platform Collaborative Environment to Improve Water Situational Awareness and Decision Making : Hydro-DSS

Abstract:  GeoCollaborate, a U.S. Federal SBIR Phase III technology, is being used to accelerate information and knowledge sharing between subject matter experts and decision makers; scientists in the air and on the ground; and between public and private sectors. Water monitoring sensor data can be accessed via its trusted source location and combined with NOAA NWS radar data, and many more data sources, in a real-time collaborative environment to put more data to work as a strategic asset. Now that this capability exists it can revolutionize the Internet of Things (IoT) into a data exchange environment that can save lives, protect property and accelerate the transition of research to operations empowering Hydro-Decision Support Services (Hydro-DSS).

 

Session 3 (SPES10.3):  Flood Warning

William B. Samuels, Director Center for Water Science and Engineering at Leidos, Alexandria, VA USA 

Dr. William Samuels is an environmental scientist at Leidos, specializing in hydrology and oceanography.  He has worked on modeling and simulation projects in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and South America.  He has more than 140 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, books and proceedings.  Dr. Samuels serves as the Director of the Center for Water Science and Engineering.  He is the principal investigator for the Integrated Water and Wastewater Security System.  His projects include ecological damage assessment from the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Arctic climate change, radionuclide transport from the Fukushima Nuclear Power plant incident, modeling the West Virginia chemical spill, Gold King mine spill and water security for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.  Dr. Samuels is the technical lead for the Federal Open Water Data Initiative – Spill Response Work Group.  He has worked with more than 25 water utilities in implementing the PipelineNet water distribution and consequence assessment tool.  He has provided water security analyses for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and the Republican National Convention in New York City.  He is a member of EPA’s Expert Review Panel for the Water Contaminant Information Tool (WCIT) and consults with EPA’s National Homeland Security Research Center.  He also led the development effort for the Incident Command Tool for Drinking Water Protection (ICWater), which is currently operational for all US Rivers.  Prior to his position at Leidos, Dr. Samuels was a senior oceanographer in the Environmental Modeling Branch at the US Geological Survey.  He performed oil spill trajectory analyses and risk assessment in support of environmental impact statements for oil exploration on the outer continental shelf. Dr. Samuels developed ecological modeling tools to perform natural resource damage assessment from oil spills and to predict population recovery times.  The focus of this effort was on vulnerable seabird populations.

Talk Title (SPES10.3): Time-of-Travel Predictions Using Real-Time Gauges

Abstract: After a release of hazardous materials into a river or stream environment, drinking water protection and contamination risk mitigation require that information on the fate of waterborne contaminants be made available quickly to decision makers.  The Incident Command Tool for Drinking Water Protection (ICWater) is a forecasting tool that interfaces with the US Geological Survey (USGS) real-time stream gauging network, the National Hydrography Dataset Plus (NHDPlus) and public water supply intakes.  The NHDPlus contains more than three million stream and river reaches, all hydrologically connected.  Mean flow volume and velocity are attributes of each reach in the network.  USGS real-time stream flow gauges are linked to the network to update the mean flows and velocities to reflect actual conditions.  As an example, in 2014, an estimated 10,000 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM), an organic solvent used in coal processing, leaked from a ruptured container into the Elk River near Charleston, West Virginia.  Contaminant tracing was initiated at the spill site to forecast the location of the leading edge, peak concentration, and trailing edge of the plume for drinking water intakes as far as 200 miles downstream.  Model runs were updated based on flow volume and velocity measurements at downstream gauges on the Ohio River to provide accurate forecasts to nearby water intakes.

 

Rakesh Bahadur, Technical Fellow and Senior Hydrologist, Center for Water Science and Engineering at Leidos, Alexandria, VA USA

Dr. Rakesh Bahadur is a civil engineer at Leidos specializing in modeling and simulation of water systems and climate change.  He has 35 of experience in solving complex water sector problems related to hydrology and hydraulics.  His work covers model development, integration, and model applications.  Dr. Bahadur is experienced in using proprietary and public domain hydrology and hydraulics models.  His experience encompasses all facets of water sector (drinking, wastewater collection, surface water, ground water, watersheds, and regulatory compliance) and covers both domestic and international issues.  His focus is application of GIS to solve complex hydrology and environmental problems.  Dr. Bahadur is well published and has regularly contributed to the scientific literature.  He is actively involved in developing new technical approaches for solving water infrastructure protection issues.  He has more than 100 publications in journals, books, and proceedings.  Dr. Bahadur is the technical lead for the Integrated Water and Waste Water Security System.  His projects include development of water security models for the Republican National Convention in New York City and the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, contaminant assessment for the Gold King Mine spill, Fukushima Nuclear power Plant incident, and West Virginia chemical spill, application of remote sensing and satellite imagery for hydrologic modeling, remedial investigation and feasibility studies for contaminated sites, application of early warning system for floods and famine.  He has also led the technical development for the Incident Command Tool for Drinking Water Protection (ICWater), which is operational for surface water in the US.

 

Fran Kremer1, Alex Hall1, Ed Clark2, and Dwane Young3

1USEPA, Office of Research and Development, Cincinnati, OH

2NOAA, Office of Water Prediction, Tuscaloosa, AL

3USEPA, Office of Water, Washington, DC

 

Talk Title (SPES10.3):  Inland Flooding Advance Notification System: Underground Storage Tanks and Water Quality Impacts

Abstract:  The nation’s supply chains are critical in preparing for and responding to extreme weather events. Vertical integration in preparation and response is needed across the national, state and local organizations in ensuring adaptable supply chains that can withstand and recover from the stresses of extreme weather events. In extreme events, the four key elements of these supply chains are food, fuel, water, and pharmaceutical and medical supplies. For the fuel supply chain, the effects of flooding are a significant factor in keeping fueling facilities operational. Additionally, leaks occurring from fueling facilities during flooding events can contaminate drinking water supplies, further exacerbating the ability to deliver drinking water to communities. The USEPA recently released a national inventory of the infrastructure and geospatial data on fueling facilities. In the US, there are approximately 33,000 underground storage tanks with 250 million gallons of fuel/hazardous substances within FEMA’s estimated 100 yr. floodplain. EPA is working with NOAA in the development of a 10-day advance information system to provide notification to States, tribes, communities, and facility owner/operators of ensuing flood potential to better prepare and respond to inland flooding events.

 

Ms. Mary Mullusky, Chief, Water Resources Services Branch, NWS Forecast Services Division, Silver Spring, MD USA

Mary Mullusky is the Chief of the Water Resources Services Branch of the National Weather Service.  Ms. Mullusky oversees NWS plans, policies, and procedures for water resources warning and forecast perations.  Through partner and customer outreach, Water Resources Services personnel identify and validate service needs and establish operational requirements for hydrologic observations, forecasting applications, and training to enhance operational services.

 

 

 

Talk Title (SPES10.3): Simplifying National Weather Service Flood Products

Abstract: A Weather-Ready Nation is about readying your community for extreme weather, water, and climate events. Social science research indicates users of National Weather Services (NWS) products can become confused by the number of hazard messages NWS issues before and during active weather.  Especially while dangerous weather is unfolding, it is critical that NWS hazard messages are simple, short, and direct.  The Hazard Simplification project is designed to simplify the communication of information and improve the understanding and utility of forecasts and warnings.  To serve this purpose, Flash Flood Warnings were reformatted into Impact-Based Warning format, a more consistent, bulleted format providing easily readable information describing the hazard, source of the information, and hazard impact, in fall 2019.  This format allowed Flash Flood Warnings to include machine-readable tags to characterize the flash flood damage threat, source information, and causative event.  In early 2020, the National Weather Service (NWS) began issuing Wireless Emergency Alerts only for Flash Flood Warnings with a damage threat tag of either “considerable” or catastrophic”.  In late summer 2021, the NWS will move forward with the next phase of flood product simplification by consolidating and reformatting flood watches, warnings and advisories.  The five types of flood advisories, which include Urban and Small Stream Flood Advisory, Arroyo and Small Stream Flood Advisory, Small Stream Flood Advisory, Flood Advisory, and Hydrologic Advisory, will be consolidated into Flood Advisory. All flood watches, warnings, and advisories except for Flash Flood Warnings and Flash Flood Statements will be reformatted into “WHAT”, “WHERE”, “WHEN”, “IMPACTS”, “ADDITIONAL DETAILS” format.  And finally, Flash Flood Watches will be consolidated into Flood Watches when the immediate cause is excessive rainfall.  To further improve message clarity, NWS announced in March 2021 that it will remove the “Advisory” and “Special Weather Statement” headlines from its Watch, Warning, Advisory system in favor of plain language headlines.  This change is expected no earlier than 2024.