• The role and usability of climate forecasts for flood control and water supply agencies in Arizona: a case study of the 1997-98 El Nino

      Sorooshian, Soroosh; Pagano, Thomas Christopher; Sorooshian, Soroosh (The University of Arizona., 1999)
      The 1997-98 El Nino provided a unique opportunity for climate information and forecasts to be utilized by water management agencies in the Southwestern U.S. While Arizona has experienced high streamflow associated with previous El Nino events, never before had an event of such magnitude been predicted with advance warning of several months. Likewise, the availability of information, including Internet sources and widespread media coverage, was higher than ever before. Insights about use of this information in operational water management decision processes are developed through a series of semi-structured in-depth interviews with key personnel from a broad array of agencies responsible for emergency management and water supply, with jurisdictions ranging from urban to rural and local to regional. The interviews investigate where information was acquired, how it was interpreted and how it was incorporated into specific decisions and actions. The interviews also investigate agency satisfaction with the products available to them, their operational decisions, and intentions to utilize forecast products in the future. Study fmdings lead to recommendations about how to more effectively provide intended users of forecasts with information required to enact mitigation measures and utilize opportunities that some climatic events present.