WWA Webinars

2020 Webinars

Thursday, August 20, 2020

WWA WebinarsWestern Water Assessment's Jeff Lukas and Liz Payton, along with Steph McAfee (University of Nevada, Reno), took a closer look at the observations of weather, climate, and hydrology that are fundamental to Colorado River water supply, water demand, and system condition forecasts and projections.

This second installment in the Colorado River Basin Climate and Hydrology: State of the Science report webinar series focused on Chapters 4 & 5, which cover weather observation networks, procedures for developing gridded climate datasets, snowpack observation techniques, streamflow naturalization methods, and models for estimating evapotranspiration and soil moisture. Jeff Lukas, Liz Payton, and Steph McAfee discussed these topics and offered key challenges and opportunities for improving the data, followed by Q&A.

The Colorado River Basin Climate and Hydrology: State of the Science report was conceived and commissioned by a group of federal, state, and local water agencies working to advance scientific understanding in the Colorado River Basin. By serving as a common knowledge base and identifying challenges and opportunities, the report is intended to support ongoing efforts to improve near-term forecasts and longer-term projections of water supply and system conditions, and also inform broader discussions about planning for the basin's water future.



Thursday, June 18, 2020

Western Water Assessment's Jeff Lukas and Liz Payton discussed an overview of the recently released report, "Colorado River Basin Climate and Hydrology: State of the Science," followed by Q&A.

The report aims to create a shared understanding of the physical setting and the latest data, tools, and research underpinning the management of Colorado River water resources. With support and guidance from more than a dozen federal, state and local water agencies, the 17-author team led by WWA’s Jeff Lukas and Liz Payton integrated nearly 800 peer-reviewed studies, agency reports and other sources to assess the state of the science and the technical methods relevant to managing water resources in the Colorado River Basin.

Click here to download the report


Past Webinars

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 11:00 AM MST
EDDI (the Evaporative Demand Drought Index). Mike Hobbins will provide a brief background on EDDI and its applications, and demonstrate new capabilities on the updated EDDI website.

Click here to connect. You can also dial in using your phone:
United States: +1 (224) 501-3412 Access Code: 566-865-597
More Information

Monday, February 26, 2018 at 1:00 PM MST
Exploring the Use of Multiobjective Evolutionary Algorithms (MOEAs) for Long-term Planning by Front Range, Colorado Water Managers
Rebecca Smith
Western Water Assessment and Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder

Webinar Link

Many promising tools and methods developed in water resources systems analysis research have seen little uptake outside of academia. This may be due to a lack of effective communication about the research to water managers, or it may be because the tools are not ultimately useful or usable in practice. Current predominant research frameworks do not provide insight into these issues or facilitate the incorporation of industry needs into research agendas. We developed a structured process to address this disconnect called the Participatory Framework for Assessment and Improvement of Tools (ParFAIT). We applied ParFAIT specifically to Multiobjective Evolutionary Algorithm (MOEA)-assisted optimization. MOEAs are bottom-up decision support tools that researchers have proven can increase learning and improve outcomes in academic water resources planning studies, but which have seen very limited uptake in real-world water management. This presentation describes our application of ParFAIT during which we worked with Front Range, Colorado, water utilities to co-produce an MOEA testbed, evaluated the tool’s potential to enhance utilities’ long term planning processes, and applied statistical methods to advance the usefulness of MOEA results.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017
WWA/NIDIS Webinar: Decision Making in the Face of Drought by Western Range Livestock Producers
William R. Travis and Trisha Shrum
Western Water Assessment and Earth Lab University of Colorado Boulder

Ranchers make a large number of time-sensitive decisions each year and can vary their choices in the face of drought throughout the production cycle. Ranchers’ drought decisions may also be affected by USDA’s new Pasture Rangeland and Forest insurance program, a rainfall-index product meant to compensate for added feed costs during drought. We use multiple ranch decision models to simulate the effectiveness of drought adaptations under different rainfall and forage conditions, and with or without range insurance. The results include annual profit and end-of-year net worth after drought responses on a typical Great Plains-Rocky Mountain cow/calf ranch. The simulations illuminate the role of adaptation costs, insurance, and drought early warning in the decision-making process. We also examine alternative drought indices and the effect of drought on cattle markets, both of which feed back to rancher decisions.

Webinar Link | Presentation Slides


Thursday, May 11, 2017
WWA/NIDIS Webinar: Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI): Tracking the “Atmospheric Demand” Side of Drought for Monitoring and Early Warning
Imtiaz Rangwala, Mike Hobbins, and Jeff Lukas for the EDDI Team*

EDDI is a drought indicator that examines changes in the atmospheric evaporative demand to indicate the spatial extent and severity of drought over multiple timescales. In this webinar, we will describe the physical basis of EDDI and summarize some early results that demonstrate its potential and added value in early warning and ongoing monitoring of drought. We will also describe the various resources available from the EDDI tool, and share insights gained from our engagement with a diverse set of stakeholders on its effectiveness and usability.

*Joe Barsugli1,2,4, Candida Dewes1,2, Mike Hobbins1,2, Justin Huntington3, Jeff Lukas4, Daniel McEvoy3, Charles Morton3, Imtiaz Rangwala1,2,4, Andrea Ray1, and Heather Yocum1,2

1.    NOAA/ESRL Physical Sciences Division
2.    University of Colorado/Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences
3.    Desert Research Institute
4.    Western Water Assessment

Webinar Link | Presentation Slides


October 23, 2015
WWA & NOAA PSD El Niño panel discussion and webinar

What does the current strong El Niño event mean for this coming snowpack and runoff season in Colorado? WWA and the NOAA ESRL Physical Science Division (PSD) are convening a panel of experts to discuss what El Niño is and what it does, past El Niño impacts across Colorado, and what kind of weather we might expect this fall, winter and spring. After an overview of a 2-page briefing document to be released the same day, the panelists will make brief remarks, followed by questions from the audience.

Panel includes Jeff Lukas (WWA), Klaus Wolter (WWA and NOAA PSD), Nezette Rydell (NOAA NWS) and Marty Hoerling (NOAA PSD).

Webinar Link


September 3, 2015
Seminar series from CIRES and ATOC: Reading IPCC Report

Presenter: Ben Livneh

Webinar Link


December 5, 2014
Water management in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia

Presenter: Tony McLeod, Ph.D., General Manager, Water Resource Planning, Murray-Darling Basin Authority, and Fulbright Senior Scholar at the Getches-Wilkinson Center, University of Colorado Boulder

Presentation with video and audio


February 12, 2014 (Co-sponsored with the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research)
The Energy-Water Nexus: Where Climate Adaptation and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Policies Collide

Presenter: Kristen Averyt, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and Western Water Assessment

Presentation with video and audio


October 24, 2013 (Co-sponsored with the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research)
Balancing Cost, Performance, and Efficiency for Complex Water Problems - A Many Objective Approach to Sustainability

Presenter: Joseph Kasprzyk, Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder

Webinar presentation with video and audio

May 20, 2013
Wildfire Effects on Water Supplies in Colorado


Tom Veblen, Geography, University of Colorado - Front Range Fire History

Presentation with video and audio

Francis Rengers, Geology, University of Colorado - Measuring Post-Fire Erosion Response with Terrestrial Lidar

Presentation with video and audio

Don Kennedy, Denver Water - Denver Water's Impacts of Past Wildfires, and the Forests to Faucets Partnership

Presentation with video and audio (pre-recorded in 2012)

November 13, 2012
Water, Energy, and Climate Change: Freshwater Use by Power Plants

Presenter: James Meldrum, WWA and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Webinar presentation with video and audio


June 28, 2012
Landscape Water Use Software - Demonstration & Discussion

Presenters: Dr. Joanna Endter-Wada, Dr. Roger Kjelgren , Dr. Christopher Neale, and Clay Lewis, M.E., Urban Water Conservation Research Lab, Utah State University

Webinar presentation with video and audio (can be streamed online or downloaded)

May 22, 2012

Adapting to climate change on the Shoshone National Forest: A science-management collaboration to develop planning and management tools

Presenter: Janine Rice, WWA Postdoctoral Associate and USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station

Webinar presentation with video and audio (can be streamed online or downloaded)

April 2, 2012

Simulating Colorado River Streamflow at Interannual and Interdecadal Time Scales and Implications for Water Resources Management

Presenters: Edith Zagona, Ken Nowak, Cameron Bracken, and Katrina Grantz – CADSWES, University of Colorado, and US Bureau of Reclamation

Streaming video file | Webinar presentations can be downloaded as PDFs at CADSWES