AgriMet/Hydromet—Satellite Telemetry Meeting Water Management Challenges in the Pacific Northwest

by Allen R. Powers, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Boise, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '91: A New View of Hydro Resources


In the hydropower-rich Pacific Northwest (approximately 70% of total regional load served), water resource agencies such as the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), among others, are examining new and changing tradeoffs among various river uses and water demands. Through the Northwest Power Planning Act of 1980, BPA was mandated to begin looking towards 'conservation' as a priority source of new energy for the developing region. Likewise, in 1987, the Bureau of Reclamation outlined a new program emphasis targeted towards striking a new balance between traditional structural projects and the development of effective non-structural, or less structurally intensive, means of meeting projected western water demands through improved operations and management efficiency. Complementary objectives such as these led to the beginnings of a formal agricultural conservation partnership between BPA and Reclamation during the 1980's. In support of this partnership, as well as for overall supply/demand operations coordination on the Columbia-Snake River systems, Reclamation operates two regional satellite data collection networks to address the challenges of complex multiple-use management on a near 'real-time' basis. 'Hydromet' is a network of remote hydrologic and meteorologic gaging stations that automatically collect and transmit data via GOES satellite to a computer-controlled receive site at Reclamation headquarters in Boise, Idaho. 'AgriMet' is a subset network of the regional Hydromet system dedicated to site-specific agricultural weather and crop water use modeling.

Subject Headings: Water reclamation | Hydrologic models | Bureau of Reclamation | Water management | Project management | Data collection | Water resources | Satellites | Pacific Northwest | United States | Idaho

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