HRG presents at Hydrologic Risk in Hydropower Dominated Energy Systems Workshop in London

Alec Bernstein attended a workshop convened by the International Hydropower Conference, the World Bank, and the Nordic Development Bank on Hydrologic Risk in Hydropower Dominated Energy Systems in London, UK on November 30th  through December 1st.  The workshop’s geographic focus was Africa and the main objectives of this training were: (i) to present and discuss the best practices and the new trends internationally adopted in the management of the hydrologic risk in hydropower generation and (ii) inform the representatives from the African countries, potentially exposed, about the suitable mitigation measures and the available hedging mechanisms. Continue reading

Hydrosystems Research Group led World Bank Decision Tree Training at UMass was a Success

The trainers and attendees of the World Bank Decision Tree Framework workshop at UMass Amherst

The UMass Hydrosystems Group completed a week long World Bank Decision Tree Training on April 24th-28th for water managers and decision makers from around the globe.  The workshop featured participants from Kenya, Nepal, South Korea, Mexico, Ethiopia, as well as World Bank staff.  The Decision Tree Framework is a four-phase assessment methodology developed to understand risk associated with climate change and their potential impacts on water infrastructure.

Luis Garcia of the World Bank introducing the training during the opening day.

It is common for major hydroelectric facilities, irrigation schemes, dams, and water supply systems to have 50 to 100 year lifespans.  This, coupled with emerging knowledge about long term behavior of the global climate system and changes in other non-climate factors, may affect water system performance in the future.  The goal of the workshop was to provide hands on practice utilizing the Decision Tree Framework for evaluating risks associated with climate change.

Participants listening to a presentation during the workshop

Participants were led through the steps of the Decision Tree Framework and spent many sessions throughout the week working collaboratively with other participants and trainers.  Using Microsoft Excel, R, OpenAgua, and other modeling tools, the workshop trainers led exercises in generating modeling tools for weather generation, hydrologic processes, systems analysis, and stress testing a system for an uncertain future.  Participants were eager to learn about the methods used for these different modeling tools, and many are bringing this new knowlege with th to assess climate risk in their home countries.

Participants working collaboratively during a training session on weather generation.

Earlier this week, the group took a field trip to the U.S. Geological Survey’s S. O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center in Turners Falls and the Cabot Station hydroelectric facility and fishway. Fish passage over hydraulic structures is a critical component in the design to ensure species connectivity along a river above and below a facility. This experience allowed the training participants to see a working full-scale fish passage research facility.

The Hydrosystems Group members who were trainers during the week:  Casey Brown, Patrick Ray, Katherine Schlef, David Rheinheimer, and Alec Bernstein.

Decision Tree Training workshop at UMass Amherst: April 25th-28th, 2017

The Hydrosystems Research Group will be hosting a week long Decision Tree Framework training on April 25th through 28th on the University of Massachusetts campus in Amherst, Massachusetts.  The sessions will be focused on applying the Decision Tree Framework to address uncertainty in water resources planning and project design.  Participants will bring their own system information and data and will be guided through the decision tree process during the course of the week.  Training sessions will be conducted by Hydrosystems Group members Dr. Casey Brown, Dr. Patrick Ray, and Ms. Katherine Schelf.

The Decision Tree Framework

Anyone interested in attending should contact for information and the application for the event as soon as possible.


Updates 2014

  • Umit Taner and Casey Brown lead stakeholder workshop revealing results of the climate risk assessment for the Niger River Basin in Niamey, Niger, January 7-9, 2014.
  • Katherine Lownsbery leads water resources modeling workshop for the Niger Basin Authority in Burkina Faso
  • AGU Fall Meeting 2014!:  Casey Brown, Scott Steinschneider and Umit Taner gave oral presentations; Patrick Ray, Sungwook Wi, Ethan Yang, Sarah Whateley, and Katherine Lownsbery presented posters.
  • Casey Brown presented at the World Bank Decision Making Under Uncertainty workshop hosted by Stephane Hallegatte in Washington DC, Nov 4-6, 2013.

Updates 2012

Invited Presentation:  “Water security and economic growth” at the 2012 International Water Security Conference in Oxford, UK, April 16-18.

New Award:  Department of Defense, SERDP “Decision-Scaling: A Decision Framework for DoD Climate Risk Assessment and Adaptation Planning.”

Invited Presentation:  “Decision-Scaling and Robust Adaptation in Water Resources Planning” at the AWRA Spring Specialty Conference in Baltimore, April 18, 2011.

New Award:   National Science Foundation CAREER Award, Robust Water Management for Ecohydrologic Sustainability under Climate Uncertainty.”

EPA Workshop: Resilient Water Management Strategies for a Changing Climate, June 8 – 10, 2010, NYC.  Our presentation,Decision-Scaling: A Decision Analytic Approach to Using Climate Information, on June 9 at 2:10 pm.

Workshop: Niger Basin Authority Climate Change, Ouaguadougou, Burkina Faso, May 24 – 26, 2010.  Presentation of our analysis of climate risks to the investment plan of the Niger Basin.

Workshop: Nonstationarity, Hydrologic Frequency Analysis and Water Management, January 13 – 15, 2010, Boulder, Colorado.  Our presentation: Engineering with unreliable frequency estimates.”

Presentation: World Bank Sustainable Development Network Forum, January 19 – 20, 2010.  Our presentation on Niger Basin analysis.