River forecasting: capabilities versus user requirements

The issue

Currently there are gaps in understanding of user decision making processes and public needs and requirements for river forecasting in New Zealand. This project aims to bridge NIWA river forecasting aspirations and capabilities with both the public and decision makers’ requirements. This project addresses the following question: How do we better align our current and planned river forecasting capabilities and interactions with users and decision makers’ requirements? 

The approach

In order to achieve the project aim the research will undertake the following tasks:

  1. Identify and collate river forecasting end-user group information in New Zealand;
  2. Identify and understand what river forecasting-based decisions are, and how they are being made by conducting preliminary face to face interviews with a selected sub-group of users;
  3. Provide preliminary findings and feedback into flow forecasting planned science developments.

Resources and tools

Findings from this project will directly impact several other NIWA projects focussed on; flood hazards for short-term flow forecasting, EcoConnect Development for seasonal forecasting, and the NZ Water Model – Hydrology medium-term flow forecasting research.  

The output of this project is a report listing river forecast user groups, preliminary findings from face to face interviews, and highlighting potential impacts for ongoing and future science developments in river forecasting at NIWA. 

The project is funded through the Strategic Science Investment Fund from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. 

Research subject: HydrologyRivers