How Can Information About Atmospheric Rivers Optimize Reservoir Operations?

In January, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began testing a process to determine which reservoirs within its South Pacific Division are possible candidates for the use of forecast-informed reservoir operations. Relying on advancements in weather and hydrologic forecasting to improve reservoir management, FIRO offers a method for optimizing operations. Ultimately, the Corps intends to assess all its reservoirs nationwide to see whether they might make good candidates for FIRO.

Typically, reservoirs designed for purposes of flood control and water supply are operated in accordance with guide curves that are designed to ensure adequate storage capacity in advance of flood events and maximize storage for later uses.