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Improving Resiliency and Reducing Risk of Extreme Hydrologic Events through Application of Earth Observations and In Situ Monitoring Information

The Amazon Basin is a critical component of the global climate system. In recent years extreme hydrologic events such as floods and droughts have intensified and wreaked havoc on the communities and environments of the world’s largest river basin. Our proposal brings together well-established and newly developed free and open sources web tools to empower key stakeholders in the region to co-develop actionable water resources information. Ultimately, the project aims to support water security that provides adequate water quantity for livelihoods, ecosystems, and production while maintaining acceptable water-related risks to people, environments, and economies. This information enables decision-making that supports flood early warning and disaster risk reduction, as well as enhanced management for drinking water supply, improved sanitation and wastewater, reliable energy security, drought planning and response, climate change resilience, environmental restoration and more. We have several years of experience working in the region. Our diverse team members are fluent in Spanish and familiar with water resources management in the region. We have previously worked with several important stakeholders including Colombia’s Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambiantales (IDEAM), Peru’s Servicio Nacional de Meteorología e Hydrología (SENAMHI), and Brazil’s disaster management agency Centro Nacional de Monitoramento e Alertas de Desastres Naturais (CEMADEN). This experience will allow us to quickly launch project efforts to codesign/develop services together with our hub partners. Our approach will emphasize services that are meaningful and useful to stakeholders, leading to greater long-term sustainability and impact.

We will contribute not only our own scientific expertise in flood impact analysis, but are also prepared to contribute to the extended Hub network and SERVIR thematic teams by developing geospatial decision-making web apps using the free and open-source software Tethys Platform. Our Applied Sciences Team (AST) proposal has three specific objectives:

1. Provide a range of Earth observation data assets and hydroinformatics tools as service-oriented web apps to aid water resources management. We have worked on applications that deliver visualization and data services for NASA and other Earth observation information. These new and existing tools within SERVIR can form a robust base from which new and targeted services for SERVIR-Amazonia stakeholders can be co-developed.

2. Create the ability to forecast flood inundation and impact maps from our global streamflow forecasting service and use satellite and social media data for validation and enhanced information products. We bring expertise in hydrologic modeling, visualization, and use of social media for data mining and dissemination of information.

3. Help integrate other models and data from the Applied Science Team (AST) members, hub, and stakeholders, co-developing these as part of the SERVIR Amazonia Hub. We anticipate that tools can be shared across thematic and hub teams to benefit this project as well as enhance the efforts of other AST, SERVIR, and hub projects. These tools will not only be used to deliver our scientific contributions in flood impact mapping but are also useful in bringing existing SERVIR tools to the Amazonia hub. They will provide a collaborative environment around which the hub and thematic teams can build to deliver better solutions to stakeholders.

We have have worked closely with our Amazonia Hub team partners to develop the proposal and ensure that it fits within their theory of change service planning. Our efforts align with the expertise and experience of the team members there so that they will be fully integrated into our project. We have previous AST experience and are willing to blend and share our skills, interests, tools, and data for the good of the team so that maximum results and benefits are achieved.