Articles | Volume 13
12 Apr 2016
 | 12 Apr 2016

How seasonal forecast could help a decision maker: an example of climate service for water resource management

Christian Viel, Anne-Lise Beaulant, Jean-Michel Soubeyroux, and Jean-Pierre Céron

Abstract. The FP7 project EUPORIAS was a great opportunity for the climate community to co-design with stakeholders some original and innovative climate services at seasonal time scales. In this framework, Météo-France proposed a prototype that aimed to provide to water resource managers some tailored information to better anticipate the coming season. It is based on a forecasting system, built on a refined hydrological suite, forced by a coupled seasonal forecast model. It particularly delivers probabilistic river flow prediction on river basins all over the French territory.

This paper presents the work we have done with "EPTB Seine Grands Lacs" (EPTB SGL), an institutional stakeholder in charge of the management of 4 great reservoirs on the upper Seine Basin. First, we present the co-design phase, which means the translation of classical climate outputs into several indices, relevant to influence the stakeholder's decision making process (DMP). And second, we detail the evaluation of the impact of the forecast on the DMP. This evaluation is based on an experiment realised in collaboration with the stakeholder. Concretely EPTB SGL has replayed some past decisions, in three different contexts: without any forecast, with a forecast A and with a forecast B. One of forecast A and B really contained seasonal forecast, the other only contained random forecasts taken from past climate. This placebo experiment, realised in a blind test, allowed us to calculate promising skill scores of the DMP based on seasonal forecast in comparison to a classical approach based on climatology, and to EPTG SGL current practice.

Short summary
The use of seasonal forecast, combined with an impact model, could have a tangible positive effect on long-term decisions. This paper presents such an example for the management of a dam in France, studied in the framework of the FP7 project EUPORIAS. It details the assessment process, lead in collaboration with the stakeholder, especially the evaluation of the decision itself. It demonstrates that the introduction of relevant climate products could significantly improve existing practice.