Reply To: Using seasonal forecasts in water management

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Maria J. Polo

The UCO team develops the case study “Snow effects for water availability” in the Guadalfeo River Basin, and these seasonal forecasts can be really valuable for our clients by using the river flow forecast as a basis for water resource management; additionally, the combination of precipitation and temperatura forecasts can assess the probability of snow occurrence and, thus, the likely seasonal pattern of the streamflow regime for the next months. The Rules Reservoir operational system particularly will be the primary user for this new service, followed by the small hydropower facilities (exploiting medium and low flows associated to both the wet and the snowmelt seasons) in the northern area of the basin. We, as knowledge purveyors, are first testing the seasonal forecasts provided so far (from May on) against the later observations, and checking their local skill. So far, river flow forecasts have provided very good performance in our basin, which is really promising; weather variables are less skilled, especially temperature has been overestimated, which may be a constraint since snow occurrence cannot be then accurately forecast from these data.

We need to wait for wet season to check out these preliminary results also during the medium and high flow periods. The reliability of the forecasts is key for getting the users involved in using them and getting advantage from them. Following this, we find really interesting the possibility of including different metrics to assess the skill of the forecasts, since we fully agree with the last comment posted.