Regional Integrated Science Assessments

GAPP has provided support to some projects within the RISA program. This program, funded by the NOAA Office of Global Programs, establishes regional centers with university affiliations that focus on understanding the context of decision making and testing alternative systems for providing climate information for decision support. Each RISA has focused on particular sectors of interest in its region, and although each one differs significantly from the others, they have generally been successful in establishing the long-term relationships with stakeholders that enable two-way flows of information between researchers and end users. For example, the RISA at the University of Washington has successfully worked in water managers and fisheries experts, and GAPP funding assisted in recent developments of the variable infiltration capacity model, which allows downscaling of climate information for hydrologic applications at the basin scale. Water management is also a major focus of RISAs in Boulder, Colorado (the Western Water Assessment); Tucson, Arizona (the Climate Assessment for the Southwest); and San Diego, California (the California Applications Project). All of these centers can help provide the user interface that is needed by GAPP. However, it would be inappropriate to depend on them exclusively for establishing these connections, and funding remains a serious concern, despite their success. Cooperation with RISAs is mentioned a number of times in the GAPP plan (NOAA-NASA 2004, Chapter 7). However, it is unclear what mechanism has been put in place to work with RISAs.

Other Programs

It seems that GAPP has also increased cooperation with the Hydrologic Research Program of the National Weather Service on a number of initiatives such as the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service and the Hydrological Ensemble Prediction Experiment (NOAA-NASA 2004, Chapter 7). While this more focused cooperation with the operational hydrologic community is perhaps a more realistic target user community, the linkage to the water resource community (i.e., reservoir management, water supply, and irrigation districts among others) needs to be clearly defined.

During its public meeting, the committee was not briefed on the NASA Energy- and Water-Cycle Study (NEWS). The NEWS Science and Integration Team has developed a science enterprise implementation plan (NASA 2004) that outlines activities to which GAPP research may relate.



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