Hydrologic Risk Forecaster (Hydro RF): Demonstration and Validation of Forecasting Model for Flooding and Infrastructure Risk on Military Lands

Dr. Daniel Gambill | ERDC-CERL



The purpose of this project is to demonstrate and validate the ERDC-CERL Hydrologic Risk Forecaster (Hydro RF). Demonstrations of the Hydro RF model will occur at three Department of Defense (DoD) installations representing three climatic regions (southeast, southwest, northwest, and/or midwest) and the validation of the method will be achieved for a range of input data quality and several applications/ infrastructure types, such as low water crossings, potable water intakes, sanitary water treatment infrastructure, and/or range training infrastructure. The risk assessment and reporting methodology will also be validated for each study site, including feedback from applicable decision makers. 

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Technology Description

Hydro RF is a simulation and prediction capability which uses regional-scale, near-term deterministic and probabilistic ensemble precipitation forecasts to predict subsequent hydrologic responses for riverine and stormwater infrastructure systems. Hydro RF ingests high-resolution deterministic precipitation forecasts, as well as downscaled probabilistic ensemble forecasts as input for a series of watershed-specific hydrologic and hydraulic models, which are then used to forecast individual streamflow/flooding events and associated hydraulic responses at critical infrastructure. Hydro RF can provide near-term risk assessments with regards to soldier safety and installation readiness (e.g.: go/no go for low water crossings structures, flood inundation of potable water pumping stations, sanitary treatment plants and other critical infrastructure, and the ability to optimize training land usage with regards to accessibility and usability).

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DoD (2018) found 706 DoD real property sites are susceptible to potential flooding risk while 763 are susceptible to wind damage caused by storm events. The top five asset categories most reported as having one or more effects in the past were: airfield operations, followed by transportation infrastructure, energy infrastructure, training/range facilities, and water/wastewater systems. This project will make available a forecasting model that can provide an installation with near-term risk assessments of soldier safety, failure of critical infrastructure, and installation readiness (e.g. restrictions in access to training areas, reliability of critical resources such as potable water intake and pumping stations, training range management and degradation) with regards to extreme precipitation and flooding events. Improved decision-making capacity will allow for improved solider safety, lower costs due to infrastructure failure or in-situ warning systems, increased installation resiliency by mitigating impacts to critical infrastructure, and meeting mission parameters by limiting unscheduled training downtime. 


Department of Defense (DoD). (2018). Climate-related risk to DoD infrastructure initial vulnerability assessment survey (SLVAS) report. Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, Washington DC. 

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Points of Contact

Principal Investigator

Dr. Daniel Gambill

Engineering Research and Development Center-Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL)

Phone: 217-373-3373

Program Manager

Resource Conservation and Resiliency