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Improved streamflow forecasts for DEP

May 1, 2012

NEW YORK CITY — The NYC Department of Environmental Protection (NYDEP) has announced a new agreement with the National Weather Service (NWS) in which DEP will provide the NWS with up to $1 million to help speed up the development of state-of-the-art forecasts of water flows throughout the watershed.

Streamflow forecasts enable DEP water supply operators to better predict the amount of water that will enter reservoirs and as a result more accurately predict reservoir levels and water quality in the future. The enhanced streamflow forecasts will eventually be a part of DEP’s Operations Support Tool (OST), a $5.2 million integrated monitoring and modeling system that collects real-time data on stream inflow, water quality and reservoir storage levels; integrates forecasts of future inflows; and applies system operating rules to predict future conditions in the water supply system.

The agreement will allow the NWS to speed the development and implementation of the Hydrologic Ensemble Forecast Service (HEFS), which will provide probabilistic forecasts to help water supply operators understand the range and likelihood of river levels and as a result help them assess risk.

DEP’s Operations Support Tool will be complete by 2013 and requires HEFS forecasts to provide the most use to system managers. Visit