Through CIROH, RTI will provide innovative solutions to help solve water-based challenges exacerbated by climate change
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded nonprofit research institute RTI International three new water and climate projects related to airborne snow surveys, economic valuation of streamflow forecasts for flood management and hydrologic modeling research tools for river forecasting. The work is part of a partnership with the Alabama Water Institute at the University of Alabama for the recently established NOAA Cooperative Institute for Research to Operations in Hydrology (CIROH).
“RTI has been conducting climate research for 60 years,” said Michael Kane, director of RTI’s Center for Water Resources. “Our team looks forward to further leveraging our technical and scientific expertise to implement new solutions to help NOAA solve these challenges in the water sector to prepare for a sustainable and equitable future.”
The three projects, part of an approximately $3 million award, include:
- National Weather Service’s gamma radiation airborne snow surveys: led by RTI’s Carrie Olheiser, the team is acquiring snow data needed to save lives and prevent loss of property ahead of snowmelt induced flooding.
- Economic valuation of streamflow forecasts for flood management: led by RTI’s George Van Houtven, the team is bringing hydrology, forecasting and economic analysis together to perform research to determine the economic value of streamflow forecasts for flood management.
- Hydrologic modeling, mapping, and forecast evaluation system: led by RTI’s Katie Van Werkhoven, the team will perform research to create a flexible hydrologic modeling, mapping, and river forecast evaluation interface prototype for testing research and operational advancements.
CIROH is a national consortium of academic and nonprofit organizations working together to improve water resources management through improved science, data, forecast information guidance and equitable decision support services.
RTI’s Center for Water Resources conducts research against a backdrop of increasing water demand and scarcity, extreme weather events and hydrologic uncertainty. The center has worked on more than 3,000 projects in the past 30-plus years for a wide variety of clients including the National Weather Service, Tennessee Valley Authority, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the World Bank, the Panama Canal Authority and the Nile River Basin Initiative.