RTI Center for Water Resources – Water Resource Projects

Learn more about the RTI Center for Water Resources’ projects below. Use the filters to see specific projects for a country, client, sector, or service. To clear a specific filter, select “Any” at the top of the drop-down menu, and click “Apply.” For information on other RTI water projects, visit our water and global environment and water resilience pages.

Interested in learning more about our work or specific projects? Contact us.

Title Client Country Sector Services Water Summary
Water Resource Monitoring Network Design Nile Basin Initiative
  • South Sudan
Water Supply
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
RTI led an international, multi-disciplinary team of experts to design a hydro-meteorological monitoring network based on shared Nile Basin water resources.  Outcomes of this groundbreaking and crucial project are a complete regional hydro-meteorological design to which these riparian countries have agreed, and an implementation plan with a focus on sustainable benchmarks for success. Once implemented, the regional network will provide the countries’ water managers with an improved understanding, and therefore improved management of, their water resources, promoting sustainable development, environmental stewardship, and public safety.
Water Resources Allocation Study Ministerio de Agricultura Peru
  • Peru
Water Supply
  • Planning and Allocation
The purpose of this project was to determine the feasibility of using decision support system (DSS) technology to implement a new water rights allocation and administration system in these Pacific watersheds. RTI designed a water allocation DSS to inventory the existing permitted water users, quantify the demand by each water user, analyzed the yield of the water supply, track water rights allocation transactions, and assist in the first-time allocation of new water rights to the water users.
Water Resources Decision Support System for the Syr Darya River Basin United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
Water Supply
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
RTI designed a decision support system to improve the capacity for planning, controlling, and allocating water resources in the Syr Darya River Basin. We implemented the National Weather Service’s River Forecast System in prototype river basins in Central Asia to provide snowmelt forecasts. We also developed a five-year Performance Monitoring Plan for the Central Asian Republic’s Water Users Association Support Program to develop the skills and capabilities to effectively plan, maintain, and manage their on-farm irrigation and drainage systems. 
Water Resources Information System Lake Victoria Basin Commission
  • Kenya (Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Rwanda
  • Burundi)
Water Supply
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
  • Data Management
The purpose of the Water Resources Information System was to improve water management in the Lake Victoria Basin. RTI designed the meteorological and hydrologic monitoring network as part of the information system and provided guidance regarding network hardware and data transmission technologies. This project facilitated data collection, data processing, and utilization of water resources data in the Lake Victoria Basin.
Water Sustainability under Climate Change IDB Invest
  • Peru
Water Supply
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Risk Assessment
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
  • Hydro-Economics
RTI estimated the availability of water resources for the agricultural and industrial productions of Danper (an agro-industrial company located in the coastal area of northern Peru), taking into account risks and climate change projections. The project involved calculation of the water footprint and water balance in Danper; evaluation of risks, threats and climate impacts on the water resources availability; identification of measures to optimize water use and to improve overall water balance; and quantification of the costs and benefits of selected measures.
Yemen-Sana'a Water Issues and Options Study World Bank
  • Yemen
Water Supply
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
RTI performed a detailed hydrologic, economic, and policy review of water scarcity in the Sana’a Basin in Yemen, one of the most water-stressed basins in the country.  RTI modeled estimates of groundwater availability and water usage and determined trends out to 2030 and 2050 under various scenarios. RTI evaluated cost and contribution to reduction of water stress for each management option using marginal cost curves. The most effective single intervention was found to be improving the urban water distribution and wastewater collection systems to reduce physical losses. Reducing irrigation in the Sana’a Basin by purchasing private wells and removing them from service was also estimated to be effective. 
Hydrologic Hazards Assessment and Consequences Analysis for Mactaquac Dam New Brunswick Power
  • Canada
Floods
  • Risk Assessment
  • Climate Resilience
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the need for increasing the spill capacity of Mactaquac Dam.  RTI is performing the probabilistic hazard assessment and consequences analysis portion of the study. The hazards assessment includes hydrologic model calibration, reservoir model definition, Stochastic Event Flood Model configuration, screening analysis for the impact of upstream dam breaches and ice jams, and sensitivity analysis. The consequences analysis includes expert elicitation from Emergency Management Organizations, selection of representative hydrographs, and configuration and execution of HEC-LifeSim.
Hydrologic Hazards Development U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE)
  • United States
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • River Basin Operations
RTI is currently supporting the USACE Modeling, Mapping, and Consequences (MMC) Center’s efforts to improve each District’s flood forecasting ability through the development and implementation of USACE Hydrologic Engineering Center’s Corps Water Management System (HEC-CWMS) model. 
Hydropower Asset Review and Operation System Framework Study Brookfield Renewable
  • Canada
Hydropower
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Risk Assessment
  • River Basin Operations
  • Data Management
Brookfield Renewable owns and operates a large number of hydropower facilities around the world with significant generation capacity. These assets are operated on a river system-by-system basis. This effort entailed reviewing the company’s current assets, databases, workflow, and data forms used in the operational decision-making processes. Recommendations for strengthening the systems and workflow were then generated to support and optimize the company’s data management and operations across their portfolio.
Hydropower Feasibility Studies for Three Small Hydropower Developments in Kenya U.S. Trade & Development Agency
  • Kenya
Hydropower
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
Virunga Power Kenya Limited is in the process of developing three small hydropower projects in Kenya, two of which are in the Mount Elgon region and one in the Mount Kenya region. RTI performed all the hydrologic evaluations for the feasibility studies, which included reviewing existing hydrologic data in the river basins; supported siting of new water level gauges at the project sites; performing a regional hydrological study to estimate the flow duration curves; determined water levels under interval flows; and performing energy yield analysis at each of the project sites.
HydroRAM Development and Training United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Philippines
Water Supply
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
  • Hydro-Economics
As part of the USAID-funded Building Low Emission Alternatives to Develop Economic Resilience and Sustainability (B-LEADERS) project, RTI developed a food-energy-water nexus case study to assess water resources availability under historic and future climate change conditions for the island of Mindanao, known as the breadbasket of the Philippines. We applied RTI’s Hydrologic Resources Assessment Model (Hydro-RAM) to estimate a 20-year daily water balance and applied an economic simulation model to estimate economic tradeoffs between water allocation for irrigation, municipal use, and energy generation. Results were delivered as an interactive dashboard to allow exploration of alternative scenarios by policy makers and planners and through capacity-building workshops.
Impact of Climate Change on Proposed Water Investments in Chalpi Basin, Ecuador Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
  • Ecuador
Water Supply
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
  • Source Water Protection
  • Data Management
RTI has used the Hydro-BID system to develop river basin models and perform case study analyses in Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador. For this study, RTI simulated the future water availability in the Chalpi basin to the year 2050. 
Institutional Support and Strengthening Program USAID
  • Jordan
Floods
  • Planning and Allocation
In 2010, USAID launched the Institutional Support and Strengthening Program (ISSP) in Jordan to support comprehensive development and reform of the water sector to better manage Jordan’s scarce water resources. ISSP addressed the key institutional constraints to more effective and efficient water resources management from creating policy to strengthening retail water delivery. As the implementer, RTI’s Environment and Water Resilience team worked closely with the Government of Jordan, local and national water sector stakeholders, and donors to implement a comprehensive reform and restructuring program. This program was implemented by RTI’s International Development practice.
Integrated Assessment of Watershed Health for the Clinch-Powell River System U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • United States
Ecosystems
  • Climate Resilience
  • Source Water Protection
  • Ecological Assessment
RTI conducted a comprehensive, natural systems–based assessments to (1) evaluate aquatic ecosystems and their contributing watersheds and (2) characterize the relative health of these watersheds to guide future protection, restoration, and education activities. RTI scored more than 3,000 catchments using 13 metrics characterizing the landscape condition, hydrologic condition, fluvial geomorphology, water quality, and biological condition including habitat. For the hydrologic condition metrics, RTI used the Watershed Flow and Allocation model (WaterFALL™) to determine alteration of flow metrics. Results were provided in technical reports and factsheets.
Integrated Surface Water Flow and Temperature Modeling Exelon Corporation
  • United States
Water Supply
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a method for modeling how changes in flow conditions impact water temperature of the Kankakee River. The results from this study should improve operation of the thermoelectric power plant by better planning withdrawals and discharges to avoid shutdowns during periods of prolonged drought.
Integrated Water Resources Science and Services (IWRSS) Regional Demonstration Preparatory Project United States National Weather Service (NWS)
  • United States
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
  • Ecological Assessment
The purpose of this project was to assist NWS’s Office of Water Prediction (OWP) with investigating and demonstrating modeling tools provided by IWRSS partners. Work included implementing the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) models PRMS, MODFLOW, and GSFLOW for a test region of interest. The investigation also included demonstration of USACE-supported models including Gridded Surface/Subsurface Hydrologic Analysis (GSSHA). Investigations included the demonstration of the modeling capabilities to simulate groundwater-surface water interactions, sediment transport, and the impact on results of high-resolution distributed modeling.
Joint Front Range Climate Change Vulnerability Study Water Research Foundation
  • United States
Water Supply
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
Water supply utilities across Colorado's Front Range are concerned about the vulnerability of their water supplies to climate change. Water providers and the State of Colorado pooled their resources and joined with the Water Research Foundation to undertake a foundational study of the effects that future climate change will have on the streamflow in the basins from which they obtain their water supply. RTI worked with the stakeholders and climate change experts to define and carry out an approach to selecting and downscaling global climate model outputs and estimating the resulting changes in timing and volume of hydrologic runoff that could be expected from the selected projections.
Kenya Water Security and Climate Resiliency Program (ISC Consultancy) World Bank
  • Kenya
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
  • Source Water Protection
RTI is part of the team of national and international experts that provide implementation support consultancy to support the Kenya Water Resources Management Authority in its mandate to collect and make available water resources information, manage water allocation and permitting, and guide water resources development planning in Kenya.
Lake Lanier Inflow Forecast Processing Hydrologics
  • United States
Water Supply
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Planning and Allocation
RTI developed a tool that processes data for the Lake Lanier extended streamflow prediction (ESP) forecast produced by the NWS’ Southeast River Forecasting Center to reduce systematic bias using quantile-quantile mapping and provided the data in a format that OASIS can read. We adjusted historical lake inflow using the quantile-quantile mapping produces statistically improved lake inflows compared to the raw ESP forecasts. The tools provides information on how drought conditions will affect water supply for the Atlanta metropolitan area.
Lake Michigan Beaches Bacteria TMDL and Implementation Plan U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • United States
Ecosystems
  • Risk Assessment
  • Ecological Assessment
RTI developed a multilevel statistical framework to complete total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for 51 Lake Michigan coastal shoreline segments located in Cook and Lake Counties that were in nonattainment of their designated use of primary contact recreation because of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. RTI’s probabilistic multilevel modeling framework allowed identification of source and transport mechanisms at both regional and local scales using observable data and allowed RTI to make beach-specific predictions to improve model performance within a known range of uncertainty. To promote stakeholder involvement and provide reasonable assurance, RTI also created a desktop program tool to access the created statistical models and allow for user testing of their own management practices. 
Lawn Irrigation Return Flow (LIRF) South Adams County (Colorado)
  • United States
Water Supply
  • Planning and Allocation
  • Data Management
RTI supported Colorado’s front range water providers with highly detailed assessments of actual locations of water use during the irrigation seasons. The analysis provided clients with multiple benefits including water rights, water conservation support, and base imagery.
Louisiana Freshwater Assessment The Nature Conservancy
  • United States
Water Supply
  • Climate Resilience
  • Source Water Protection
  • Ecological Assessment
RTI developed a statewide hydrologic modeling platform to evaluate watershed response to climate change and changing patterns of water use. Several modifications were made to RTI’s Watershed Flow and Allocation model (WaterFALL™) to account for the extensive ditching within agricultural areas and the multichannel bayou connections in Louisiana. We also dynamically linked with an existing groundwater model (MERAS) to simulate hydrologic interactions between surface waters and deep aquifers. The approach developed and implemented by RTI proved effective for evaluating long time scales and regional groundwater conditions, while avoiding the details, complexity, and effort required to simulate local groundwater flow explicitly. RTI created Apps to view the results on TNC’s public Freshwater Network online mapping portal. The HydroFlows App displays the hydrology results and the OysterFlows App which allows users to assess the impacts of changing flows on oyster health in two coastal waterbodies.
Low Flow Forecast System for the Lower Potomac River Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin
  • United States
Water Supply
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
RTI designed and developed a real-time data acquisition and processing system that supplies needed data to the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB) for coordinating sufficient water supply to the Washington, DC region. We implemented a CHPS/FEWS system and linked to ICPRB’s forecast model, Chesapeake Bay Program HSPF model, to utilize existing real-time and forecast data to generate forecasted flows in the basin. This low flow forecast system allows ICPRB to simulate the affects of reservoir releases to optimize operations.
Mactaquac Dam Decision Study: Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) Support Tool New Brunswick Power
  • Canada
Hydropower
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
New Brunswick Power owns and operates a large 600-megawatt hydropower facility on the St. John River near Fredericton in New Brunswick, Canada. Due to an adverse alkali aggregate reaction in the concrete, the project must be either decommissioned, temporarily repaired, or fully replaced. RTI constructed a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) tool to help evaluate and compare the fiscal, environmental, and social implications between various alternative actions. The MCDA tool and interface was developed through a series of meetings used to obtain and refine criteria, populate the matrix, and elucidate stakeholder preferences. Formalization of the decision also provided clear documentation and support for the final decision for the next phase of the Mactaquac Dam project.
Meteorological Ensemble Pre-Processor (MEPS) Experimental Framework United States National Weather Service (NWS)
  • United States
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Planning and Allocation
The Meteorological Ensemble Forecast Processor (MEFP) Experimental Framework is a tool that allows the California-Nevada River Forecast Center (CNRFC) and the National Water Center (NWC) a more efficient development and testing of MEFP adjustments. The MEFP Experimental Framework includes the Meteorological Ensemble Forecast Processor Parameter Estimator (MEFPPE) in addition to the MEFP. Under this project,  RTI the converted existing MEFPPE and MEFP Java codes into MATLAB and performed related testing for proper functionality using MEFP generated precipitation and temperature hindcasts.
Modeling the Hydrological Response of Natural Infrastructure Interventions in the Chancay-Lambayeque Basin, Peru Forest Trends Association
  • Peru
Ecosystems
  • Hydro-Economics
  • Source Water Protection
  • Ecological Assessment
The purpose of this project is to develop an approach and analysis for natural infrastructure (NI) inclusion in future water resources management planning, based on the experience in the Chancay-Lambayeque basin. RTI evaluated hydrologic changes and cost-effectiveness of several natural infrastructure projects identified and prioritized for the basin.
Nile Basin Decision Support System Nile Basin Initiative
  • Ethiopia
  • Sudan
  • South Sudan
  • Egypt
  • Kenya
  • Uganda
  • Tanzania
  • Burundi
  • Rwanda
  • and the Democratic Republic of Congo
Water Supply
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
RTI supported the development and deployment of the Nile Basin Decision Support System (NBDSS), a transparent, easy-to use, documented, and scalable information management and decision support system tailored to meet the specific needs of riparian countries and other stakeholders of the Nile Basin. The system provides a common collaborative tool for cooperation among Nile Basin countries. RTI developed tools for hydrometeorological analyses and scenario modeling; model optimization; and Multi-Criteria and Costs-Benefit Analysis (MCA/CBA). We developed training materials and provided on-site training to NBI and national water resources engineers.
North East India Water Resources Rapid Assessment World Bank
  • India
Water Supply
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
  • Hydro-Economics
  • Source Water Protection
  • Ecological Assessment
This project was formed to assess the current conditions and develop recommendations for effective planning and management of water resources in the North Eastern states of India. This project involved extensive stakeholder engagement with RTI delegates organizing interactions over nine states with regional organizations, and ministries at Centre level.  Results from stakeholder engagements were used to develop a range of recommended interventions and capacity building actions to be implemented in a subsequent phases.
Operations Support Tool (OST) Development New York City (NYC) Department of Environmental Protection
  • United States
Water Supply
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
RTI developed an Operations Support Tool (OST) to improve New York City’s ability to operate its water supply and delivery system by providing the data and analytical tools needed to manage water supply system reliability, drinking water quality, and environmental and regulatory requirements daily.
Panama Canal Forecast System Panama Canal Authority
  • Panama
Water Supply
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • River Basin Operations
RTI has supported, updated, and maintained the inflow forecast system for the Panama Canal since 1998.  We have also provided advanced training and performed related hydrologic studies for the PCA  - one of which, demonstrated the hydrologic feasibility of the canal expansion to a third set of locks.
Physiographic Survey of Mwache Watershed World Bank
  • Kenya
Water Supply
  • Ecological Assessment
The purpose of this study was to characterize the Mwache River watershed with focus on land cover, land use, soils, slope, land cover changes, agro-climatic zones, catchment de-gradation, morphology, and geology. This study generated the overall output that includes the zoning of soil erosion hotspots, catchment management, and interventions. In addition, the study verified the hotspots with a field visit and collected water quality data (sediment and physical water quality parameters). Additionally, the assignment included enhancing the capacity of stakeholder water resources management staff by providing training and engaging them in projects as counterparts.
Pilot Forecast System and Model Evaluation Alberta Environmental and Parks
  • Canada
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Data Management
This project included the development of a pilot Deltares DelftFEWS forecast system for the Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) River Forecast Center. The system is intended as experimental tool to aid the RFC in in deciding which platform to implement operationally. RTI lead the integration of the SSAR model into DelftFEWS as well as the development of data exchange mechanisms with the Kisters WISKI data management system.
Probabilistic Flood Hazard Analysis (PFHA) Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
  • United States
Floods
  • Risk Assessment
The purpose this ongoing project is to assist TVA in managing their system of dams and power facilities in a manner that yields the greatest benefit and reduces the overall risks of catastrophic events. As part of this process RTI is transforming the dam safety management program decision process to a risk-informed decision-making approach (RIDM). This is a probabilistic approach that considers the frequency of events that pose a hazard (e.g., floods and earthquakes), the response of the dam to the hazard (i.e., failure modes), and the associated consequences if a failure were to occur. RTI has developed a toolset to analyze and understand the scenarios and underlying simulations which is designed to guide and inform the decision-making process at TVA.
Quantifying the Potential Benefits of Land Conservation on Water Supply for the Catawba-Wateree Watershed (NC) Water Research Foundation
  • United States
Water Supply
  • Risk Assessment
  • Climate Resilience
  • Hydro-Economics
  • Source Water Protection
  • Ecological Assessment
Through this study, we developed a framework to assess the relative impacts of climate and land use change on water supply resiliency at multiple scales across a watershed and determine the extent to which future impacts on water supply can be mitigated through land conservation efforts focusing on geographic “hot spots”. The framework combines the hot spot identification with an economic cost-benefit analysis to provide guidance on where land conservation investments may provide the greatest monetary benefit as well as protection of water supply and quality resiliency under future projected conditions.
River Forecast System Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
  • United States
Hydropower
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • River Basin Operations
RTI has conducted a series of projects to develop a modernization plan of TVA’s operational river forecasting. RTI has implemented a flood early warning system and completed data collection and initial modeling for the 140 sub-basins within the Tennessee Valley. This plan will create a unified operational framework including the following components: data collection and quality control, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, reservoir operation simulation and optimization, and hydrothermal modeling. 
River Forecast System for the Rio Lempa River National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • El Salvador
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • River Basin Operations
After Hurricane Mitch devastated much of Central America, RTI designed and helped install a real-time hydrometeorological network and established a river forecasting center in San Salvador, El Salvador. The operational forecasting system included a satellite downlink receiving real-time field data and database and product development software, all running on a local area network installed by RTI. The forecasts are disseminated via the Internet to government agencies, utility companies, emergency management agencies, and local communities in all three Río Lempa basin countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras).
Roadmap for Applied Statistical Analysis Techniques for Hydrologic Generation and Runoff CEATI International
  • Canada
Hydropower
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
RTI developed a web-based tool that outlined a selection of statistical methods to help hydropower producers select and implement appropriate methods and tools to make quick and confident decisions. By implementing the best available statistical method, the water managers and operators will be able to utilize their resources better, taking into consideration releases required to meet conflicting obligations to stakeholders, including hydropower production, crop irrigation, municipal and industrial water supply, and recreational uses in light of the natural uncertainties.
Sam Rayburn Reservoir Optimization Study U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE)
  • United States
Hydropower
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
  • Hydro-Economics
RTI coupled the Neches River RiverWare model with a multi-objective evolutionary algorithm (MOEA) to  develop a set of optimal guide curves for maximizing hydropower production while minimizing risk of water supply shortages.  The decision support interface presents the trade-off curves and allows a user to interactively select one or more alternatives and generate graphics that illustrate the reservoir releases and system response metrics under each operating plan.
Severe Weather Data Inventory (SWDI) Climate Change Decision Support System National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Kenya
Floods
  • Risk Assessment
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
RTI, in partnership with the University of North Carolina, designed and developed Application Programming Interface (API) services to dynamically discover, access, and present to users various components of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) severe weather database. We created an online application that links the current severe weather data base products to social and demographic databases to allow users to assess populations and infrastructure at risk from many hazards including severe weather, floods, and drought. This is a “connecting technology solution” that bridges the gap between the rich databases at NCEI and the required application that the end users need to assess climate-related risks, visualize the impacts and potential adaptation measures, and communicate real-time information at a neighborhood scale. 
Shire Basin Operational Decision Support System Government of Republic of Malawi, Ministry of Water Development and Irrigation
  • Malawi
Water Supply
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
  • Data Management
Developed the seasonal forecasting system, including models for improved operation of river system infrastructure, crop and agriculture management, and environmental water management, to improve the use of hydro-meteorological data collected from ground monitoring and earth observations. We also developed and implemented institutional capacity and training programs.
Snake River Forecasting System for Idaho Power Idaho Power
  • United States
Hydropower
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • River Basin Operations
  • Data Management
Idaho Power operates 17 hydroelectric dams on the Snake River and its tributaries in Oregon and Idaho. RTI’s long-standing work with Idaho Power helps the utility company generate electricity efficiently so they can meet competing demands while protecting the environment through ensuring there is enough space in reservoirs for flood control, irrigation, and to meet fish flow requirements. As part of the project RTI developed a modified RES-J reservoir model that uses basin-wide snow pack water supply forecasts to inform reservoir operations during the runoff months.
Statewide Water Availability and Allocation Model Clemson University
  • United States
Ecosystems
  • Planning and Allocation
  • Ecological Assessment
RTI provided a watershed modeling tool and decision support platform to enable interactive quantitative investigation of water availability and allocation at multiple geographic scales within South Carolina. RTI’s employed the Watershed Flow and Allocation model (WaterFALL®) to (1) assess and quantify the hydrology underlying the state’s native fish communities, enabling the development of relationships of flow behavior to fish community structure and composition, and (2) facilitate assessment of landscape source areas of state water supplies and the impacts of planned or projected land use changes in those source areas. RTI utilized this existing study data to provide the potential for these modeling results to be used in the development of regional water plans and in updating the State Water Plan.
Strengthening the Resilience of the Taunton River Watershed: A Tool to Prioritize Local Action U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • United States
Ecosystems
  • Hydro-Economics
  • Ecological Assessment
RTI developed a framework and decision support tool that uses ecosystem service benefit indicators to assist local stakeholders in identifying and prioritizing natural lands for conservation in the Taunton River Watershed (MA). RTI constructed the framework by dividing the watershed into a network of stream catchments and by creating an inventory of unprotected natural lands. To compare and rank these units, RTI developed measurable indicators representing (1) the provision of six ecosystem service benefit types―flood protection, water quantity protection, water quality protection, habitat protection, air quality protection, and open space preservation―and (2) vulnerability to development. The tool was designed for conducting screening-level analyses in the watershed to assist in targeting areas that are best suited for conservation projects that help prevent impairment to the watershed. 
Study and Diagnosis of Hydrology to Prevent Possible Effects on Drinking Water and Sanitary Drainage Systems State Government of Guerrero - Commission de Agua Potable
  • Mexico
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Data Management
In partnership with a consortium of Mexican consulting firms, RTI conducted a study of flood susceptibility in the coastal region of the State of Guerrero. We developed frequency and return period analyses from gage records  and generated synthetic records using a hydrologic modelling approach where no flow gaging records were available. We combined terrain data from various sources to allow more extensive estimates of flood impacts. 
Sustainability of the Water Balance in the Context of Climate Change IDB Invest
  • Peru
Water Supply
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
  • Hydro-Economics
  • Source Water Protection
  • Data Management
The purpose of this project is to estimate the water foot print for the agricultural and industrial productions of Danper S.A.C. Assess the water balance at the basin scale taking into account risks and climate change projections. RTI identified cost-effective measures that can be implemented inside and outside Danper's facilities to improve the efficiency of water use and reduce future risks of water shortage.
Sutlej River Flood Warning System U.S. Geological Survey
  • India
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
As part of the USAID Disaster Management Support project in India, RTI developed a system that provides warnings of critical flooding conditions on the Sutlej River in Northern India.  In addition to protecting lives and property, the system also provides advance flood warnings to operators at the Nathpa Jakhri dam.  
Tappan Dam Flood Study U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE)
  • United States
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Risk Assessment
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
RTI calibrated and applied hydrologic and reservoir operations models (HEC-HMS and HEC-ResSim) to generate potential extreme flood event inflow hydrographs and evaluate the performance of the existing structures for several USACE dams. Model output was used to assess dam safety under various hydrologic and operational scenarios.
Tennessee Integrated Assessment of Watershed Health U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • United States
Ecosystems
  • Hydro-Economics
  • Source Water Protection
  • Ecological Assessment
RTI provided technical support to EPA’s Healthy Watersheds Program by conducting comprehensive, natural systems–based assessments to (1) evaluate aquatic ecosystems and their contributing watersheds and (2) characterize the relative health of these watersheds to guide future protection, restoration, and education activities. RTI scored 19 metrics to characterize the relative health and vulnerability of over 60,000 watershed catchments across Tennessee. These metrics were divided to develop two indices: Watershed Health and Watershed Vulnerability.
Unified Hydrologic Model for Assessing Human and Climate Impacts on Streamflows at Multiple Geographic Scales South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative
  • United States
Water Supply
  • Climate Resilience
  • Source Water Protection
  • Ecological Assessment
RTI’s Watershed Flow and Allocation model (WaterFALL™) was used to provide a hydrologic foundation of “unaltered” streamflows for the southern US. RTI then modeled current or “altered” conditions, as well as two future scenarios, for these watersheds. Daily time series of 30-year simulations for each scenario were provided at the enhanced National Hydrography Dataset (NHDPlus) catchment scale for use by the client in water-related conservation planning efforts. 
Urban Climate Change Vulnerability Mapping and Analysis U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • United States
Water Supply
  • Risk Assessment
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
  • Data Management
This project expanded the capacity of EPA and other decision-makers to assess and respond to global change impacts on urban areas. RTI developed and implemented indicator-based vulnerability approaches to understand risks to programs and communities from exposures to pollutants released by waste management operations or cleanup and restoration of land resources during extreme events such as heat waves, floods, droughts and wildfires.
Urban Flood Warning System Istanbul Municipal Authority
  • Turkey
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Data Management
Implemented an urban flood warning system using CHPS/FEWS including custom data input, precipitation processing, hydrologic simulation, links to flood mapping, product dissemination, and early warning alarms.
USACE Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC) - Accelerated Corps Water Management System (CWMS) Deployment U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE)
  • United States
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
RTI has developed and deployed the USACE’s Corps Water Management System (HEC-CWMS) for several critical large-scale watersheds. Beginning in 2009, RTI assisted the HEC by developing complete CWMS applications for the Puyallup River (Seattle District), the Jackson and James River (Norfolk District), the Cumberland and lower Ohio River (Great Lakes and Ohio River Division/Nashville District), and the Juniata River (Baltimore District). RTI also developed and deployed a CWMS for the Green River watershed (Louisville District) in 2011.
USACE Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC) - Corps Water Management System (CWMS) Pilot Implementation U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE)
  • China
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
RTI has developed and deployed the USACE’s Corps Water Management System (HEC-CWMS) for several critical large-scale watersheds. Work with CWMS began in 2006 while conducting a feasibility study for a national flood control decision support system in China. RTI developed a CWMS application for the Huai River for demonstration purposes that included a complex unsteady flow HEC-RAS model with several detention basins and diversion areas where operators make diversion and release decisions during high water events.
Valuation of Albemarle-Pamlico Watershed Natural Resources Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership (APNEP)
  • United States
Ecosystems
  • Hydro-Economics
  • Ecological Assessment
  • Data Management
For the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program and NC DEQ, this study assessed the economic value of the Albemarle-Pamlico watershed’s natural resources. A benefit transfer method was used to assess the annual value of ecosystem service flows to market sectors (e.g., agriculture, forestry, commercial fishing) and directly to households in the watershed (e.g., via outdoor recreation and aesthetic benefits). The assessment also included estimation of the carbon storage potential of forests and coastal wetlands within the watershed. 
Valuing the Benefits of Stream Water Quality Improvements in Urbanizing Watersheds U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • United States
Ecosystems
  • Hydro-Economics
  • Ecological Assessment
RTI is collaborating with a multidisciplinary team of researchers to develop and apply a combined expert elicitation and stated preference approach to estimate households’ willingness to pay for improvements in urban stream water quality. RTI has the lead role the development and pretesting the survey instrument by designing and conducting multiple focus groups with both stakeholders and individuals from the public. We are using these groups to develop methods for linking ecological production functions with household preferences and for conveying changes in ecological, aesthetic, and health outcomes to a lay audience.
Water Quality Portal (WQP) Data Discovery and Analysis Tools U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • United States
Ecosystems
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Data Management
EPA’s STOrage and RETrieval Warehouse (STORET) is the primary repository for ambient water quality data provided by states and is a key resource for analyzing national water quality trends. EPA partners with the US Geological Survey to make data from both agencies available through the Water Quality Portal (WQP). RTI created a set of analysis tools for STORET and WQP users including the Data Discovery tool that allows users to easily visualize and query the data. The WQP Data Analysis Tool provides users with advanced analytical options such as comparison to established criteria, geomeans and trends.  Both tools were developed with open source statistical programming language (R) which allows other parties to modify these tools to meet their specific needs.
Boise River 2-D Flow Modeling U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE)
  • United States
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • River Basin Operations
RTI created a 2-D operational hydraulic model for the Boise River to improve the simulation of flood inundation in Boise, Garden City, and Eagle, Idaho. The model has been implemented as part of the USACE's real-time forecasting system used for operational decision support.
Emergency Action Plan Inundation Mapping Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
  • United States
Floods
  • River Basin Operations
RTI developed flood inundation maps for the 40 major reservoirs and other detention structures using a system-wide HEC-RAS hydraulic model that encompassed more than 1,800 miles of river reaches.  The resulting HEC-RAS model was used to simulate isolated and cascading dam failures under sunny day and probable maximum flood conditions, resulting in a series of maps for use by emergency planners.
Modeling, Mapping, and Consequences (MMC) Production Center U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE)
  • United States
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • River Basin Operations
RTI has developed and deployed the USACE’s Corps Water Management System (HEC-CWMS) in support of the Modeling, Mapping, and Consequences (MMC) Production Center’s national CWMS implementation program. As a member of the MMC team, RTI is working with multiple USACE Districts to enhance their current decision-making capabilities through CWMS development. For the Portland District, RTI is currently leading the development of a CWMS for the Cowlitz and Lewis Rivers in southwest Washington. In addition, in 2017 RTI developed a CWMS of the Rogue River basin in southwest Oregon to meet the District’s primary objectives of improving flood control and protecting sensitive fisheries. Development work included creation of a hydrologic model (HEC-HMS), a reservoir operations model (HEC-ResSim), a hydraulic model (HEC-RAS), and a flood impact assessment tool (HEC-FIA). RTI also has experience customizing the Control and Visualization Interface (CAVI) through scripting to allow Districts to better monitor critical system control points in real time and to predict important parameters (e.g., water temperature) that influence operational decisions. For the Walla Walla District, RTI developed a 2-D hydraulic model (HEC-RAS) for the Boise River in southwest Idaho and a hydrologic model (HEC-HMS) for the Willow Creek basin in eastern Idaho.
Hydrological Modeling to Assess Impact of Climate and Land Use Change The Nature Conservancy
  • Dominican Republic
Ecosystems
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
This purpose of this project was to evaluate the impact of climate and land use changes in the water and sediment regimes of four major basins in the Dominican Republic and use the results to allow TNC to improve ecosystem services. RTI applied the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to represent baseline conditions, developed future land use and climate scenarios, and used those scenarios to simulate future conditions. The future conditions were compared against the baseline to assess the changes in water yield and sediment, peak flow, and baseflow.
A Water Resource Model of the Rio Grande Basin in Argentina Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
  • Argentina
Water Supply
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
  • Source Water Protection
  • Data Management
RTI has used the Hydro-BID system to develop river basin models and perform case study analyses in Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador.  For this study, RTI prepared a case study examining options for addressing seasonal water shortages through improvements in the efficiency of agricultural and urban water uses.
Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Services (AHPS) United States National Weather Service (NWS)
  • Worldwide
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Planning and Allocation
The AHPS program for the NWS was a multi-contract Scientific Engineering and Technical Assistance vehicle active from 1997 to 2019. Under these task order contract vehicles, RTI provided services to the NWS designed to enhance NWS capabilities in river, flood, and drought forecasts; infuse new science into the NWS forecasting processes; and enhance, calibrate, and implement NWS models for operational forecasting services. The NWS also used this vehicle to have RTI transfer NWS technology internationally to countries such as Panama, Mexico, EL Salvador, India, and South Africa.
Advancing Water Supply Forecasts in the Colorado River Basin for Improved Decision Making National Air and Space Administration (NASA)
  • United States
Water Supply
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
  • Hydro-Economics
RTI is working with the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center (CBRFC) to produce more accurate and meaningful water supply forecasts by developing a framework to deploy a distributed modeling environment that will accept gridded precipitation estimates from satellite data and facilitate the assimilation of a variety of sensors to simulate snow accumulation and melt. The enhanced forecast system will be used to produce ensemble hindcasts that allow for the objective comparison of different operating rules and their impact on water management performance objectives.
Alcona Dam Economic and Environmental Risk Assessment Consumers Energy
  • United States
Hydropower
  • Risk Assessment
  • Hydro-Economics
RTI conducted a qualitative economic risk analyses for seven flood loading and failure scenarios of Alcona Dam (Michigan). This analysis evaluated direct damages, indirect damages, the effects on critical infrastructure, and the effects on environmental and non-monetary consequences from seven flood scenarios. The economic and environmental damage for each scenario were ranked based severity to allow the results to be used in risk assessments.
An App for Conservation Scenario Evaluation and Prioritization for Louisiana within The Nature Conservancy’s Freshwater Network The Nature Conservancy
  • United States
Ecosystems
  • Source Water Protection
  • Ecological Assessment
TNC and RTI collaborated on creating an App within TNC’s online Freshwater Network mapping portal that allows for the estimation of change in nutrient and sediment loadings delivered to a local stream reach and accumulated through a watershed after the implementation of a user-selected conservation practice or set of practices. Users may complete scenarios at the field, catchment, or 12-digit hydrologic unit level. Load reductions as compared to existing conditions or another scenario are provided based on the user selections.  
Analysis of Costs for Controlling Nutrient Pollution in South Florida Everglades Foundation
  • United States
Ecosystems
  • Hydro-Economics
  • Ecological Assessment
For the Everglades Foundation, RTI conducted a study that examined many questions regarding the costs of controlling nutrient pollution to the Everglades and other surface waters in South Florida. Relying on publicly available data sources, the project team estimated the total annual costs and nutrient load reductions (in 2010) from agricultural BMPs, urban BMPs, domestic wastewater treatment facilities, and public works projects that further treat and remove nutrient loads.
Application of Hydro-BID in Colombia Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
  • Colombia
Water Supply
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
  • Source Water Protection
  • Data Management
RTI is providing capacity building workshops to local water agencies or government institutions in the use of Hydro-BID to improve the technical capabilities of government staff in the use of analytical models for integrated water resources management. Workshop attendees use Hydro-BID to develop and implement water balances and other specialized analyses for the study areas.
Application of Hydro-BID in Costa Rica Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
  • Costa Rica
Water Supply
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
  • Source Water Protection
  • Data Management
RTI is providing capacity building workshops to local water agencies or government institutions in the use of Hydro-BID to improve the technical capabilities of government staff in the use of analytical models for integrated water resources management. Workshop attendees use Hydro-BID to develop and implement water balances and other specialized analyses for the study areas.
Application of Hydro-BID in Guatemala at the National Level Inter-American Development Bank
  • Guatemala
Water Supply
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
  • Source Water Protection
  • Data Management
The purpose of this project was to enhance Guatemala’s capabilities in water resource management and watershed modeling at a national scale. For this study, applying Hydro-BID at a national scale meant using the system’s tools to analyze the water balance in a range of watersheds that have limited climatological and streamflow data and different geographical and hydrological regimes.  We conducted a series of workshops to train uses of the application of the Hydro-BID through various case studies.
Applied Statistical Analysis Techniques for Hydropower Generation and Runoff CEATI International
  • Canada
Hydropower
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
This project involved a review of available applied statistical methods and techniques that could be used to improve the efficiency of hydro power generation. The study reviewed how methods were implemented by hydro power operators across the industry. The report described the benefits, limitations, and applicability of a range of methods. Practical and detailed working examples using modern software and techniques were further provided for selected methods.
Assessing Freshwater Ecosystem Resilience in North Carolina The Nature Conservancy
  • United States
Ecosystems
  • Climate Resilience
  • Source Water Protection
  • Ecological Assessment
This project aimed to identify the most resilient stream networks in North Carolina that will sustain native freshwater biodiversity even as the changing climate and land use alters current distribution patterns. RTI used its Watershed Flow and ALLocation model (WaterFALL™) to model (1) historical, unaltered flows, (2) current flows, and (3) future flows using corresponding land use and climate scenarios. Current and future flows were compared with historical flows to identify stream segments experiencing the greatest hydrologic alteration. Model output was also used to calculate a Baseflow Index to asses groundwater impacts.
Assessment of Flooding and Reservoir Operations in the Missouri River Basin U.S. Department of Justice
  • United States
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • River Basin Operations
RTI developed alternative reservoir operations models using HEC-ResSim for the Missouri River main stem system of dams and reservoirs to simulate flows related to changes in operational guidance after 2006. RTI’s work included review and assessment of historical river conditions and reservoir operations, simulation of river channel behavior, comparison of actual vs. hypothetical operational impacts on flooding, and providing expert testimony during numerous court proceedings. RTI’s review of the historical context included a historical meteorological and hydrologic analysis to characterize flood and drought periods in the basin and to develop a time series of river system inflows, including both the period of alleged increased flooding as well as prior periods.
Basin Modeling of the Brahmaputra River System  World Bank
  • Bangladesh
Floods
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
The Brahmaputra River is one of the largest flowing rivers in the world with hundreds of millions of people dependent on its flows. RTI worked with the World Bank in the development of a knowledge inventory through the basin, identified basin-wide water management issues, and assessed priorities for Bangladeshi stakeholders. RTI advised the World Bank’s South Asia Water Initiative (SAWI) and the Government of Bangladesh on a recommended approach to develop a cross-sector modeling platform to support evaluation and prioritization of investment opportunities for management of basin water resources, while considering social, economic, and environmental benefits. The resulting product was a design of a multi-sectoral and cross-sector Brahmaputra River basin model.
Benchmarking Streamflow Ensemble Usage CEATI International
  • Canada
Hydropower
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Risk Assessment
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
  • Hydro-Economics
  • Data Management
The development of ensemble forecasts has been in-place for decades, but usage of streamflow ensembles to assist in hydropower operational decisions has been limited, even though the benefits of their usage are well documented. This study, developed for CEATI International, includes three major components: a literature review, surveys and interviews, and a roadmap for improving the use of ensemble streamflow forecasts. The objectives of the study are to understand the current state of the science with respect to ensembles in decision making, to understand the industry-level hurdles to their usage (including, for example, knowledge, institutional resistance, complexity), and then to establish a well-documented roadmap to help the hydropower industry begin the process of understanding and using ensembles to improve their operational decisions. Through the appropriate use of ensembles, the industry has the potential to realize reduced risks, improved water-use efficiencies, and increased hydropower generation and revenue.
Benefits of Reduced Lake Eutrophication U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • United States
Ecosystems
  • Hydro-Economics
  • Source Water Protection
  • Ecological Assessment
  • Data Management
In partnership with North Carolina State and Duke Universities, we developed a generalizable framework for valuing the nonmarket benefits of fresh water nutrient reduction to addresses states’ needs for evaluating nutrient reduction plans. The project consisted of two main components: (1) development of a relationships between ambient nutrient levels to qualitative indicators of water body quality and suitability for designated uses; and (2) development of a preference model for valuation of the nonmarket benefits of nutrient reductions that is directly linked to the eutrophication production function. The results were applied in a decision support tool that was disseminated via (a) a training workshop for state-level water quality regulators and analysts and (b) distribution of the software and educational materials necessary for implementing the framework.
Big Thompson River Community Hydrologic Prediction System (CHPS)/Flood Early Warning System (FEWS) U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
  • United States
Water Supply
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Climate Resilience
  • River Basin Operations
RTI implemented a Community Hydrologic Prediction System (CHPS) forecast system to provide better real-time, short-term forecasts of runoff to improve hydropower skimming operations in the Big Thompson River basin. We developed tools to load input data and visualize results for the client. Stakeholders across the basin are benefitting from the CHPS implementation, which seamlessly integrates existing infrastructure with tools necessary for modern forecasting, effective water management, and optimal reservoir operation.
Climate Change Analysis Denver Water
  • United States
Water Supply
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
  • Data Management
RTI created a customized Surface Water Supply Index to incorporate real-time reservoir storage levels and stream gages, forecast flows from ensemble streamflow prediction, and estimates of water supply based on water rights. All of this information was placed into a historical context that allows managers to predict and plan for any range of water conditions. RTI’s customizations reduce manual efforts required to compile, summarize, and present this valuable information. This tool is helping the City of Denver prepare for both high and low water supply conditions.
Climate Change Impact Assessment for Diamer Bhasha Dam United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Pakistan
Floods
  • Risk Assessment
  • Climate Resilience
  • River Basin Operations
  • Ecological Assessment
RTI provided scientific expertise to build a snow-runoff hydrological model for the upper Indus River Basin. The model was used to quantify the impact of climate change on inflows to the dam forced by precipitation and temperature projected by multiple Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate projections using both the third and fifth phases of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP3 and CMIP5). The resulting flows were propagated through the new reservoirs and existing infrastructure to assess impacts on water supply downstream in the Indus River Basin for irrigation, domestic use, and to preserve environmental flows.
Climate Change Study for the Oum Er Rbia Basin World Bank
  • Morocco
Water Supply
  • Climate Resilience
  • River Basin Operations
This applications research and development project used satellite imagery to estimate crop evapotranspiration (ET) and to quantify water balances for improving water management in the World Bank-funded Er Rbia Irrigated Agriculture Modernization project. The project used Moroccan government meteorological data and thermal and optical satellite data as input to a surface energy balance algorithm, to generate spatial and temporal estimates of ET throughout the growing season.
Climate Change, Water Resources, and Access to Improved Drinking Water and Sanitation U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • United States
Water Supply
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
  • Hydro-Economics
  • Data Management
This study used country-level data to investigate the potential impacts of climate change on levels of access to safe drinking water and sanitation. RTI applied a multivariate regression analysis to a panel dataset covering over 150 countries and five discrete time periods and we examined the role of economic, demographic, political, climatic, and geographic factors.
Conjunctive Use Modeling for the Carson River & Russian River Basins U.S. Geological Survey
  • United States
Water Supply
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
RTI worked with the USGS to support the development and application of a new conjunctive water use modeling tool that couples MODSIM, a water allocation and operations model, with GSFLOW, a hydrologic model that integrates Precipitation Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) and MODFLOW. RTI designed and implemented the surface water component of the new modeling tool and supported USGS in its application in the Carson River in Nevada and the Russian River basin in California.
Defense Coastal/Estuarine Research Program (DCERP) U.S. Department of Defense
  • United States
Ecosystems
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Climate Resilience
  • Ecological Assessment
  • Data Management
This is a $24 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program. The aim of DCERP was to conduct applied and basic research to better understand the impact of military training activities on environmental sustainability with a focus on understanding nutrient, sediment, and carbon cycles now and in a future changed climate. RTI coordinated research and monitoring activities, developed the data management system for the project, and coordinated with various stakeholders.
Design of Flood Control Measures in the Volcano Region of Rwanda World Bank
  • Rwanda
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Climate Resilience
RTI provided the hydrological and hydraulic modeling to identify the flood prone areas in Rwanda’s Volcano areas, as well as developing the design flows for each of the mitigation measures. RTI also evaluated the effectiveness of the proposed mitigation measures. A key objective of the project was to identify and design flood control measures for the Volcano region using a combination of ecosystem-based and structural interventions. 
Determination of Ecological Flows for North Carolina North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality
  • United States
Ecosystems
  • Risk Assessment
  • Climate Resilience
  • Source Water Protection
  • Ecological Assessment
  • Data Management
RTI developed a method to characterize the responses of a habitat-based fish guild and benthic macroinvertebrate richness to flow alteration in North Carolina using monitored biological data and modeled hydrologic data. Twelve significant flow – biology relationships were produced in which both benthos and fish showed negative responses to flow alteration as measured by ecodeficit and reductions in flow between these two scenarios. RTI made recommendations on how these relationships could be used to formulate statewide guidance for ecological flow regulation. This work and recommendations were included as an appendix to the state's Scientific Advisory Board on Ecological Flows' final report.
Developing Best Management Practices (BMPs) Cost Estimates for the Chesapeake Bay Program U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • United States
Ecosystems
  • Hydro-Economics
  • Ecological Assessment
The purpose of this project was to develop and demonstrate a decision support framework for implementing cost-effective best management practices (BMPs) in a major U.S. watershed. The framework was specifically designed to assess strategies for meeting non-point source (NPS) nutrient and sediment load reduction targets for the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed. In particular, the framework focuses on tradeoffs between minimizing costs, maximizing ecosystem service co-benefits, and maintaining working agricultural lands in the watershed.
Development of a Water Resources Information System Lake Victoria Basin Commission
  • Kenya (Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Rwanda
  • Burundi)
Water Supply
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Planning and Allocation
  • Data Management
RTI designed a meteorological and hydrologic monitoring network as part of the development of a Water Resources Information System (WRIS) for monitoring surface water, groundwater, and water quality for the watersheds draining into Lake Victoria. We also provided guidance on network hardware and data transmission technologies. 
Downstream Consequences Evaluation to Support Dam Safety Risk Assessment Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
  • United States
Floods
  • Risk Assessment
  • River Basin Operations
"RTI has conducted downstream consequences evaluation for several large dams in the TVA system to support planning and decision making related to the dams. The analysis has included unsteady HEC-RAS modeling (including 2D), evaluation of interim operational policies using RiverWare, and assessment of direct economic and life loss consequences through the development of HEC Flood Impact Analysis (HEC-FIA) and LifeSim consequences models.
Eastern Nile Hydromet Network Design Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office (ENTRO)
  • Ethiopia
  • Sudan
Water Supply
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Data Management
RTI designed an upgraded real-time data collection, data management, and data communications system to support hydrologic forecasting and flood early warning in Eastern Nile countries.
Eastern Nile Water Resources Planning Model Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office (ENTRO)
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • Sudan
Water Supply
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
  • Data Management
Under contract to the World Bank, RTI developed the design requirements for a mutually-acceptable water resources planning model for the three eastern Nile states that would facilitate informed project decision-making and accurately predict the consequences of potential water resources projects.
Economic Impacts of Sea Level Rise for Coastal Virginia Virginia Coastal Policy Center, College of William & Mary Law School
  • United States
Floods
  • Climate Resilience
  • Hydro-Economics
  • Ecological Assessment
  • Data Management
RTI conducted this project to assist local decision makers in addressing the threat of sea level rise by analyzing the expected costs and economic impacts under a “business as usual” scenario. Using parcel level data for residential properties and elevation data, we developed and applied a risk-based modeling approach to assess how rising seas will affect the probability of experiencing different coastal storm surge levels and increase expected flood damages in any given year. We found that sea level rise will significantly exacerbate the property damages and economic losses associated with coastal storm events and flooding.
Economic Study of Nutrient Credit Trading for the Chesapeake Bay Chesapeake Bay Commission
  • United States
Ecosystems
  • Hydro-Economics
  • Ecological Assessment
RTI examined nutrient credit trading as a cost saving strategy for meeting the Chesapeake Bay total maximum daily load (TMDL) limits for nitrogen and phosphorus. In particular, we estimated the total potential cost savings that could be achieved by allowing permitted discharges to meet their requirements by purchasing credits under alternative trading scenarios.
Economic Valuation of Groundwater in Abu Dhabi Emirate Environmental Agency - Abu Dhabi
  • United Arab Emirates
Water Supply
  • Hydro-Economics
  • Data Management
Developed and applied a dynamic hydro-economic optimization model to evaluate the net benefits and economic tradeoffs across alternative water uses by simulating groundwater stocks and withdrawals for different regions, time periods, and sectors in Abu Dhabi. The goal of this model was to assist the Environmental Agency - Abu Dhabi in developing policies that encourage more efficient management and use of it scarce groundwater resources.
Economic Valuation Survey for Klamath River Basin Restoration U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
  • United States
Water Supply
  • River Basin Operations
  • Hydro-Economics
RTI designed, fielded and analyzed a nation-wide stated-preference (SP) survey to measure the nonuse values and related benefits of alternative plans to manage competing uses of water resources (irrigation, hydropower, recreational fishing, tribal activities and cultural practices, and commercial fishing) in the Klamath River Basin. The survey was designed on a foundation of economic theory using state-of-the-art nonmarket valuation techniques, a statistically rigorous sampling plan, and a carefully executed data collection plan.  After collecting the data, RTI analyzed the data and calculated the willingness-to-pay values for different segments of the population for use in the overall economic analysis of the dam removal proposals.
Effective Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Service USAID
  • Nigeria
Floods
  • Planning and Allocation
In 2018, the U.S. Agency for International Development contracted RTI to implement the Effective Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services (E-WASH) program to improve the availability of clean water and sanitation in Nigeria’s poorest urban neighborhoods. We expect to improve water delivery to 500,000 households by boosting the productivity and efficiency of State Water Boards, many of which are balanced precariously between top-down government directives and an ongoing responsibility to deliver services to millions of customers. This program was implemented by RTI’s International Development practice.
Estimating the Benefits of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL Using Benefits Transfer U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • United States
Ecosystems
  • Hydro-Economics
  • Ecological Assessment
The purpose of this project was to develop and apply a benefit transfer model to demonstrate selected economic benefits of the nutrient and sediment load reductions practices expected to be implemented by jurisdictions to meet the Chesapeake Bay total maximum daily loads (TMDL), based on the jurisdiction’s Phase II Watershed Implementation Plans.
Flood Control Measure Designs for the Volcano Region The World Bank
  • Rwanda
Floods
  • Risk Assessment
RTI performed a rainfall analysis and developed hydrological and hydraulic models to design ecosystem based and structural flood mitigation measures. Site visits and field surveys were undertaken to develop an understanding of the area and assess feasible locations for mitigation measures.
Flood Forecast Models for the City of Houston Texas Water Development Board (TWBD)
  • United States
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • River Basin Operations
RTI developed and calibrated hydrologic models in the San Jacinto River and Buffalo Bayou basins in the Houston metropolitan area to support the National Weather Service’s (NWS’s) West Gulf River Forecast Center (WGRFC). The primary purpose of the modeling was to improve the WGRFC’s capacity to provide timely and accurate flood forecasts.
Flood Forecasting Feasibility Study U.S. Trade and Development Agency
  • Turkey
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
In partnership with other firms, RTI conducted a conducted a feasibility study to implement a comprehensive, nationwide Flood Forecasting Early Warning system.  We evaluated existing data and hydrologic model, determined system requirements, investigated the institutional framework to support the effort, and developed an implementation plan.  The study concluded that the development of a Flood Forecast Early Warning system in Turkey was feasible and that it would provide both economic and social benefits to the country.
Flood Modeling Training FONERWA - Rwanda
  • Rwanda
Floods
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
RTI provided a training program that addressed the concepts, tools, procedures, and technologies involved in effective hydrological and hydraulic modeling in the Kivu catchment of the Sebeya River. We provided the trainees with a clear understanding of the concepts and procedures imparted to them a skill-set that will increase their confidence in using HEC-RAS and HEC-HMS software.
Flood Risk Mapping in Eastern Nile Basin Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office (ENTRO)
  • Sudan
  • Ethiopia
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
Led a multinational and multidisciplinary team tasked with collecting data, conducting a field survey, modeling terrain, conducting a hydraulic analysis, identifying and mapping flood hazards, mapping infrastructure, conducting an economic analysis, and analyzing and mapping the final flood risks in the Lake Tana region of Ethiopia and the Blue Nile in Sudan. 
Flood Warning and Operations System Development New York State Canal Corporation
  • United States
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • River Basin Operations
RTI implemented a comprehensive flood warning and operations management tool for the New York State Canal Corporation (NYSCC), which manages a large system of reservoirs, canals, and locks. RTI guided the NYSCC in monitoring network design and installation of more than 60 real-time sites and we coordinated the various entities in their data-sharing activities. The tool required development of hydrologic and complex one- and two-dimensional hydraulic models to simulate flows and operations to allow the client to find the best water operations strategy, including during low flows and flood events.  We developed a public-facing website to provide important information, such as current flows and bridge clearances, to a non-technical public.
Forecasting and Flash Flood Support National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • India
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
Flash flood and river flooding plague many of the major rivers in India. RTI evaluated and recommended needed improvements in river flood forecasting systems. Key Indian staff were then trained on using the National Weather Service River Forecast System.
Fort Collins Water Supply Vulnerability Study City of Fort Collins, CO
  • United States
Water Supply
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
  • Data Management
RTI supported the city's water supply vulnerability study designed to understand the risk of uncertain future climate conditions and other system risks. RTI designed and implemented a novel hydrologic modeling approach that used the probabilities from paleo-reconstructed wet and dry periods to drive hydrologic variability in the analysis. Key outputs of this modeling included climate-adjusted natural flow time series at selected locations and evaluations of differences in water availability. RTI also developed a GIS-based demand estimation tool that generates demand scenarios tied to future hydrology scenarios, built from variables for the main water use groups in the city.
Glendo Reservoir Full Utilization Study Wyoming Water Development Commission
  • United States
Hydropower
  • Risk Assessment
  • River Basin Operations
  • Hydro-Economics
  • Source Water Protection
This reservoir feasibility study evaluated the impacts, benefits, and cost from re-allocation in the flood storage zone of Glendo Reservoir on the North Platte River in Wyoming. The WWDC is interested in reallocation for beneficial uses of flood storage water including increased recreation days, and higher summer environmental flows. RTI conducted the reservoir simulation modeling for a range of proposed alternative operation scenarios with assessments on social, recreational, and environmental impacts. Results were presented to stakeholders and agencies at multiple public meetings with comments incorporated into the final report leading to successful recommendation for altered operation protocols.
Google Flood Forecasting and Inundation Google.org
  • India
Floods
  • Monitoring and Forecasting
RTI provided technical support to aid Google in developing a scalable process to simulate hydrologic models using remote sensing information and machine learning techniques. Support was also provided to map floods to provide flood warnings to population in un-gaged and remote locations. As part of the support, RTI helped to verify the Google Inundation Model, a 2D hydraulic model, in the Brahma Putra and Ganges river basins  and provided suggestions on model improvements. Flood models were developed for several locations using HEC-RAS 2D and the GIM and calibrated to synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images using precision and recall statistics. 
Hydro-Economic Analysis of Food-Energy-Water Nexus for Pernambuco, Brazil Inter-American Development Bank
  • Brazil
Water Supply
  • Climate Resilience
  • Planning and Allocation
  • River Basin Operations
  • Hydro-Economics
  • Data Management
RTI developed a hydro-economic framework that included an economic optimization model to capture differences in physical output (e.g., temporal flows) at the basin scale, local economic benefits, and other key variables (e.g., agricultural production, household water consumption) across a wide range of climate and infrastructure development scenarios. This study illustrates the usefulness of hydro-economic analysis for evaluating the economic implications of alternative infrastructure investments or management options, and more simply shows how an increased water supply might affect economic welfare and influence the allocation of water between competing uses such as domestic consumption and irrigated agriculture. 

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