The California Water Model

Lake Oroville on Aug. 19, 2014, photo by Photo by Justin Sullivan

Lake Oroville on Aug. 19, 2014, photo by Photo by Justin Sullivan

California is currently under one of the worst droughts the United States has ever seen. Jay Famiglietti estimates that California needs 42 cubic kilometers of rain to replenish their depleted reservoirs. NASA's GRACE satellite has shown that the Central Valley (an agricultural haven) has a disproportional decrease in water storage because of their reliance on groundwater wells.  

 

Numerical Model

We applied the HGS-WRF model to California for a seven day simulation period. The model was initialized with current day groundwater levels and is still in the initial spin-up period. 

 

 

WRF DOMAIN

  • 2.8 million nodes
  • 12 km horizontal resolution
  • 42 vertical layers

HGS Domain

  • 240,000 nodes
  • 4 km horizontal resolution
  • 8 vertical layers

Model Output

This video shows a 200 day simulation of the California Basin model. I implemented the coupled HydroGeoSphere-Weather Research and Forecasting (HGS-WRF) model for January 2011 to August 2011 (200 days). The simulation shows the Log Depth, Precipitation, Evapotranspiration and Change in Saturation (from initial condition).