A new, web-based vulnerability and risk assessment tool (ViRTUE) provides a mechanism to understand and explore individual water utilities climate risk exposure using a stress test, in which the performance of local reservoir systems are tested over a wide range of potential climate and socioeconomic changes. With a map-based interface, multidimensional components such as changes in temperature, precipitation, water supply demands, and minimum flow requirements can be explored to help inform decision-making and adaptation under future climate uncertainty. Moreover, probabilities of those conditions developed from climate and socioeconomic projections, as well as the historical record, help inform utility operators of impending risk.
ViRTUE: Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Tool for water UtilitiEs
In many parts of the United States, seasonal hydrologic forecasts are critical to water resource management. Numerous studies have demonstrated significant skill in predicting regional hydrology and river flows, namely in the western and southeastern US, using both initial hydrologic conditions (IHC) (i.e. soil moisture and snow water-equivalent measures) and climate indices that characterize aspects of the geophysical system. However, efforts to produce skillful seasonal hydrologic forecasts in the Northeast US have been limited. This work illustrates our efforts toward creating hydrologic forecasts in the Northeast beneficial to water management.
Spring Hydrologic Forecast