Assessing the value of seasonal hydrological forecasts for improving water resource management: insights from a pilot application in the UK

Peñuela, Andres; Hutton, Christopher; Pianosi, Francesca

Improved skill of long-range weather forecasts has motivated an increasing effort towards developing seasonal hydrological forecasting systems across Europe. Among other purposes, such forecasting systems are expected to support better water management decisions. In this paper we evaluate the potential use of a real-time optimization system (RTOS) informed by seasonal forecasts in a water supply system in the UK. For this purpose, we simulate the performances of the RTOS fed by ECMWF seasonal forecasting systems (SEAS5) over the past 10 years, and we compare them to a benchmark operation that mimics the common practices for reservoir operation in the UK. We also attempt to link the improvement of system performances, i.e. the forecast value, to the forecast skill (measured by the mean error and the continuous ranked probability skill score) as well as to the bias correction of the meteorological forcing, the decision maker priorities, the hydrological conditions and the forecast ensemble size. We find that in particular the decision maker priorities and the hydrological conditions exert a strong influence on the forecast skill–value relationship. For the (realistic) scenario where the decision maker prioritizes the water resource availability over energy cost reductions, we identify clear operational benefits from using seasonal forecasts, provided that forecast uncertainty is explicitly considered by optimizing against an ensemble of 25 equiprobable forecasts. These operational benefits are also observed when the ensemble size is reduced up to a certain limit. However, when comparing the use of ECMWF-SEAS5 products to ensemble streamflow prediction (ESP), which is more easily derived from historical weather data, we find that ESP remains a hard-to-beat reference, not only in terms of skill but also in terms of value.

Zitieren

Zitierform:

Peñuela, Andres / Hutton, Christopher / Pianosi, Francesca: Assessing the value of seasonal hydrological forecasts for improving water resource management: insights from a pilot application in the UK. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

Zugriffsstatistik

Gesamt:
Volltextzugriffe:
Metadatenansicht:
12 Monate:
Volltextzugriffe:
Metadatenansicht:

Grafik öffnen

Rechte

Rechteinhaber: Andres Peñuela et al.

Nutzung und Vervielfältigung:

Export