was developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As another example, glaciers are covered only marginally in the report. This is for two reasons. The first is that relative to related phenomena such as seasonal snowmelt, glaciers play only a small role in the water management picture in the United States. A second is that glaciers are traditionally considered part of the cryosphere—along with ice sheets, sea ice, and permafrost—and are thoroughly covered in studies involving global climate change and cold region processes.

The planning, design, operation, and utilization of an integrated observational-modeling system involves many elements, or stages. These include (a) defining goals, which may include specific “deliverables” for a narrowly defined research project or flexible targets when the project is established for broader and potentially changing uses; (b) building a team with appropriate expertise to define and oversee accomplishment of the goals; (c) designing the project to achieve the goals, either specifically or with flexibility to allow for multiple-use data; (d) collecting and validating the data, integrating and validating new data collection methods as appropriate over time; (e) organizing the large data sets for a variety of different uses; (f) integrating observations across sensors and networks; (g) merging the integrated observations with models and model validation; and (h) delivering the information products to those applying them to flood and drought forecasting, water management planning, disaster response, source water protection, and other areas. These steps are described in more detail in Appendix C.

The first three steps are explicitly or implicitly part of the case studies summarized in Chapter 4, but since they are common to all interdisciplinary projects are not discussed explicitly in the report. The last five steps are the subject of Chapters 2 and 3. Thus, Chapter 2 discusses innovations in sensor technologies. Chapter 3 outlines how data collected using existing and emerging technologies can be integrated and assimilated into models and communicated to the user. Chapter 4 uses case studies to illustrate how these innovations are, and could be, applied in specific settings. Finally, Chapter 5 synthesizes the lessons learned from the case studies and from other ongoing activities, and summarizes the committee’s findings and recommendations.

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