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Project Information

Project Information


Review of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection Operations Support Tool for Water Supply


Project Scope:

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has developed an Operations Support Tool (OST), which is a combined water quantity and quality model, to help predict future water level and quantity conditions in the City’s reservoir system.  This system extends roughly 125 miles north and west of New York City into rural and mountainous areas of New York State. The OST was developed to help the City determine optimal timing and volumes of water releases from large reservoirs in the system to help manage turbidity levels (particularly in water from the Ashokan Reservoir), enhance ecological conditions in downstream systems, and maintain delivery of high quality drinking water to over 8 million people.  

An ad hoc committee of the National Research Council will review the Operations Support Tool and its many uses, and issue a report that addresses the following: 

  • The committee will review the City’s use of OST for water supply operations, including managing elevated turbidity, and will consider potential ways in which the City can more effectively use OST.
  • The committee will evaluate the performance measures the City uses to assess the efficacy of the Catskill Turbidity Control Program, making recommendations for additional performance measures, if necessary.
  • The committee will review the City’s plan for use of OST in evaluating proposed modifications to the Catalum State Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit, as well as alternatives to be considered in the associated environmental review.
  • The committee will review DEP’s existing studies of the potential effects of climate change on the City’s water supply to help identify and enhance understanding of areas of potential future concern with regard to the use of OST.

Status: Current

PIN: DELS-WSTB-14-02

Project Duration (months): 21 month(s)

RSO: Ehlers, Laura

Board(s)/Committee(s):

Water Science and Technology Board

Topic(s):

Environment and Environmental Studies


Committee Membership

Committee Post Date: 10/31/2016

Dr. Debra S. Knopman - (Chair)
The RAND Corporation

Debra S. Knopman is a principal researcher at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Knopman’s expertise is in hydrology, environmental and natural resources policy, systems analysis and operations research, and public administration. Her project work spans a range of topics including long-term water management, policy options for disposition of nuclear waste, governance and funding of the U.S. Gulf Coast recovery, the design of the Qatar National Research Fund, and urban responses to a changing climate. She served for six years (1997–2003) as a member of the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board and chaired the board's Site Characterization Panel. She was the director of the Progressive Policy Institute’s Center for Innovation and the Environment from 1995 to 2000. From 1993 to 1995, Knopman was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, U.S. Department of the Interior. She had previously been a research hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey and later chief of the Branch of Systems Analysis in the USGS's Water Resources Division. From 1979 to 1983, she served first as legislative assistant for energy and environmental issues to Senator Daniel P. Moynihan and then as professional staff member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Dr. Knopman has served on more than ten Academies committees and boards. She received her B.A. in chemistry from Wellesley College, her M.S. in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her Ph.D. in geography and environmental engineering from the Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Monica B. Emelko
University of Waterloo

Monica B. Emelko is an Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Waterloo and the Director of the Water Science, Technology and Policy Group. She is also cross-appointed in the School of Planning and the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Dr. Emelko’s research is focused on drinking water supply and treatment, particularly as related to sustainable technology design and optimization, risk analysis, integrated resource management, climate change impacts on water, water quality monitoring and modeling, and the protection of public health. She is the Co-PI of the Southern Rockies Watershed Project, which is evaluating the initial and long-term effects of both natural disturbance by wildfire and anthropogenic disturbance by forest harvesting on hydrology, water quality, aquatic ecology, and treatability. Her ongoing work involves active participation from over a dozen utilities and conservation authorities across Canada and the United States. Currently she is acting as a technical advisor to federal and provincial/state agencies in Canada, the United States, and Australia regarding regulatory development related to drinking water treatment, source water protection, and integrated resource management. She holds B.S. degrees in both chemical engineering and environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.S. in civil engineering from UCLA, and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Waterloo.
Mr. Paul L. Freedman
LimnoTech

Paul L. Freedman is the Co-Founder, President, and CEO of LimnoTech, a national science and engineering firm specializing in water quality issues for over 40 years. Mr. Freedman has worked directly on hundreds of watershed and lake management projects all across the U.S. for clients including state and Federal agencies, municipalities, and industries. He has been particularly involved in projects focused on controlling runoff of nutrients, sediments and bacteria from storms and the implementation of best management practices and green infrastructure to control these problems. He has also lectured on computer modeling, watershed management, wet weather issues, permitting, sustainability and many other environmental issues. He is a past president of the Water Environment Federation. He has been involved in several regional and national program review panels including two for the National Academies focused on watershed management in the Mississippi River basin and a current review of a ten-year $350 million dollar program in the Delaware River basin to protect drinking water and environmental quality. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in several states and a Board Certified Environmental Engineer of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. He received his B.S. degree in engineering and his M.S. degree in water resources and civil engineering from the University of Michigan.
Mr. Jerome B. Gilbert
Independent Consultant

Jerome B. Gilbert (NAE) is a consulting engineer based in Orinda, California. His interests and expertise include integrated water supply, water-quality planning, and management. Mr. Gilbert has managed local and regional utilities, and developed basin/watershed water-quality and protection plans. He has supervised California’s water rights and water quality planning and regulatory activities, chaired the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, and led national and international water and water research associations. Areas of experience include authorship of state and national water legislation on water rights, pollution control, water conservation, and urban water management; optimization of regional water project development; groundwater remediation and conjunctive use; economic analysis of alternative water improvement projects; and planning of multipurpose water-management efforts including remediation. He has served on national panels related to control and remediation of ground- and surface-water contamination, the National Drinking Water Advisory Council, and ten previous Academies’ committees. Mr. Gilbert is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He received his B.S. from the University of Cincinnati and his M.S. from Stanford University.
Dr. Robert M. Hirsch
U.S. Geological Survey

Robert M. Hirsch is a Research Hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The focus of his research is the description and understanding of long-term variability and change in surface-water quality and streamflow. From 1994 through May 2008, he served as the Chief Hydrologist of the USGS. In this capacity, Dr. Hirsch was responsible for all USGS water science programs, which encompass research and monitoring of the nation’s groundwater and surface water resources including issues of water quantity as well as quality. Dr. Hirsch has received numerous honors from the federal government and from non-governmental organizations, including the 2006 American Water Resources Association’s William C. Ackermann Medal for Excellence in Water Management, and has twice been conferred the rank of Meritorious Senior Executive by the President of the United States. He is co-author of the textbook Statistical Methods in Water Resources. Dr. Hirsch is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an active member of the American Geophysical Union and the American Water Resources Association, and he has served on four Academies’’ committees. Dr. Hirsch received a B.A. in geology from Earlham College, an M.S. in geology from University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Kimberly L. Jones
Howard University

Kimberly L. Jones is Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Howard University. She previously worked as an associate and assistant professor in that department from 1996 to 2009. Dr. Jones’ research interests include developing membrane processes for environmental applications, physical-chemical processes for water and wastewater treatment, remediation of emerging contaminants, drinking water quality, and environmental nanotechnology. Dr. Jones currently serves on the Science Advisory Board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and as chair of the Drinking Water Committee of the Science Advisory Board. She has served on the National Academies Water Science and Technology Board and several committees, and the Board of Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors, where she was Secretary of the Board. She received her B.S. from Howard University, her M.S. from the University of Illinois, and her Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Cynthia E. Rosenzweig
Goddard Institute for Space Studies

Cynthia E. Rosenzweig is a Senior Research Scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Institute for Space Studies, where she heads the Climate Impacts Group. The mission of the group is to investigate the interactions of climate with systems and sectors important to ecological and human well-being. She is Co-Chair of the New York City Panel on Climate Change, a body of experts convened by the mayor to advise the city on adaptation for its critical infrastructure. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Dr. Rosenzweig joins impact models with climate models to project future outcomes of both land-based and urban systems under altered climate conditions. She co-led the Metropolitan East Coast Regional Assessment of the U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change, sponsored by the U.S. Global Change Research Program. She was a Coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC Working Group II Fourth Assessment Report. Dr. Rosenzweig holds adjunct appointments as a senior research scientist at the Columbia University Earth Institute and at Barnard College. She has served on eight committees of the National Academies, including the Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change. She received an M.S. in soil and crop science from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. degree in plant, soil, and environmental sciences from the University of Massachusetts.
Dr. Karen S. Sklenar
The Cadmus Group, Inc.

Karen S. Sklenar is a Senior Scientist with the Cadmus Group. Dr. Sklenar has over 27 years of experience in the area of water quality from the perspectives of an academic researcher, water utility employee, state regulator, and consultant. In particular, her experiences with helping to implement New York State’s drinking water program have given her a comprehensive understanding of drinking water issues and regulations. She is an expert in Source Water Protection, having served as PI or co-PI for three Water Research Foundation projects including one that developed a preliminary framework for evaluating source water protection programs intended to protect drinking water quality. She was the lead technical author for New York State’s Source Water Assessment Guidance Manual. Dr. Sklenar has also trained regulators and public water system operators on such drinking water regulations as the Stage 1 and Stage 2 Disinfectants/Disinfection By-products Rule, the long-term Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule, the Ground Water Rule, and Phase II/V contaminants. She prepared primacy packages for New York State with respect to various regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Dr. Sklenar received her B.A. from Yale University and her Ph.D. in environmental engineering science from the University of California at Berkeley.
Dr. John E. Tobiason
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

John E. Tobiason is Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr. Tobiason has over 35 years of research, teaching and consulting experience in environmental engineering, mostly related to drinking water supply, treatment and distribution, with a focus on coagulation, oxidation, dissolved air flotation, media and membrane filtration, and other physicochemical processes for drinking water treatment. Dr. Tobiason has directed research on the hydrodynamics and water quality of the drinking water supply reservoirs for the metropolitan Boston, MA area for over 20 years. He is currently President of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors and is a member of the Journal Editorial Board for the Journal American Water Works Association. He is a registered Professional Engineer (NH) and is Board Certified by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. Dr. Tobiason earned his B.S. in civil engineering from the University of New Hampshire, his M.S. in environmental engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. James G. Uber
University of Cincinnati

James G. Uber is Principal and CEO of CitiLogics, LLC, a software technology firm located in Cincinnati, OH, and Professor Emeritus of environmental engineering at the University of Cincinnati, where he has served as the Director of the Environmental Engineering Division and the Director of the Center for Sustainable Urban Engineering. His interests are in the development and application of numerical methods, and mathematical optimization approaches, for the simulation, design, control, and operation of complex environmental and water resource systems, particularly drinking water distribution systems. He has developed software tools to help water utilities better manage their assets, most recently as a co-developer of the TEVA-SPOT water security software and the EPANET-MSX multi-species water quality simulation package. Dr. Uber has collaborated with epidemiologists and water quality specialists to help estimate the microbial health risks associated with drinking water distribution systems, with electrical and controls engineers to work on automatic feedback control of water quality in spatially distributed distribution systems, and with EPA to design and analyze monitoring and surveillance systems to mitigate the risks associated with intentional contamination of drinking water. In 2006, Dr. Uber received the ASCE Service to the Profession award for development of tools for improving the design and operation of water distribution systems. He received his B.S. in civil engineering from Bradley University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Professor Eric F. Wood
Princeton University

Eric F. Wood, NAE, is the Susan Dod Brown Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. His research area is hydroclimatology with an emphasis on the modeling and analysis of the global water and energy cycles through land surface modeling, satellite remote sensing, and data analysis. This includes the monitoring and forecasting of drought, hydrologic impacts from climate change, and seasonal hydrological forecasting. He participates in Global Energy and Water EXchange (GEWEX) activities to develop long-term data records for climate studies. He has been a Science Team member on the NASA Aqua/Terra AMSR-E and MODIS instruments, the NASA Global Precipitation Mission and the NASA soil moisture SMAP mission. For UNESCO he has guided the development of a Global Flood and Drought Monitoring and Forecasting system. Dr. Wood has received many honors, including a Doctor Honoris Causa from Gent University (Belgium) in 2011, and he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the American Geophysical Union. Dr. Wood received his B.A.Sc. in civil engineering from the University of British Columbia and his S.M., C.E., and Sc.D. in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Committee Membership Roster Comments

NOTE: Effective 10/25/2017, committee member Dr. LeBoeuf resigned from the committee.

Events



Location:

Keck Center
500 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  BRENDAN MCGOVERN
Contact Email:  bmcgovern@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  2023342496

Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Debra Knopman
Monica Emelko
Paul Freedman
Robert Hirsch
Kim Jones
Cynthia Rosenzweig
Karen Sklenar
John Tobiason
Jim Uber
and Eric Wood.

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

Report draft, review process, and project completion.

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
May 17, 2018


Location:

Keck Center
500 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Brendan McGovern
Contact Email:  bmcgovern@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  2023342496

Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Debra Knopman
Monica Emelko
Paul Freedman
Jerry Gilbert (by phone)
Robert Hirsch
Kimberly Jones
Cynthia Rosenzweig
Karen Sklenar
John Tobiason
James Uber
Eric Wood

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

The report draft, future assignments and requests for information to study sponsor.

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
December 13, 2017


Location:

Kingston, NY
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Brendan McGovern
Contact Email:  bmcgovern@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  2023342496

Agenda

AGENDA

Committee to Review the New York City Department of Environmental Protection
Operations Support Tool for Water Supply

Third Meeting
September 25-26, 2017

Best Western Plus
Kingston Hotel and Conference Center
503 Washington Ave, Kingston, NY 12401



Monday, September 25


Closed Session

8:30–8:55 Closed Session


Open Session

8:55 Introductions, Review of Meeting Agenda
Debra Knopman, Committee Chair, RAND Corp.


9:00–10:15 Generation and Skill of the HEFS Ensemble Streamflow Forecasts
James Brown, Ernie Wells, and Mark Fresch, NWS Office of Weather Prediction
Seann Reed and Erick Boehmler, NWS River Forecast Centers
Jay Day, RTI International


10:15–10:30 Break


10:30-11:15 The OST Forecast Processor
Adao Matonse, NYC DEP


11:15–12:15 How Water Quality Goals/Constraints are Represented in OST
Rakesh Gelda, DEP


12:15–1:00 Working Lunch

1:00–2:15 OST Demonstration
Jerry Mead and Jim Porter, DEP


2:15–3:30 Use of OST in Future Climate Modeling work
Emmet Owens, NYC DEP


3:30–4:15 Open Mic Session


4:15–4:30 Break


Closed Session

4:30–5:30 Closed Session



Tuesday, September 26


Closed Session

8:30–10:30 Closed Session

10:30–10:45 Break


Open Session

10:45–12:00 Discussion with Sponsor
• Ask additional questions/get clarification
• Request materials/information


Closed Session

12:00–5:00 Closed Session



Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Monica B. Emelko
Paul L. Freedman
Jerome B. Gilbert
Robert M. Hirsch
Debra S. Knopman
Kimberly Jones
Cynthia E. Rosenzweig
Karen Sklenar
John E. Tobiason
James G. Uber

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

Committee writing assignments
Information needs

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
September 28, 2017


Location:

Kingston, NY
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Brendan McGovern
Contact Email:  bmcgovern@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  2023342496

Agenda


AGENDA

Committee to Review the New York City Department of Environmental Protection
Operations Support Tool for Water Supply


Second Meeting
April 24-25, 2017

Best Western Plus
Kingston Hotel and Conference Center
503 Washington Ave, Kingston, NY 12401



Monday, April 24


Open Session

8:45 Introductions, Review of Meeting Agenda
Debra Knopman, Committee Chair, RAND Corp.


8:45–10:00 Ensemble Stream Flow Forecasting
Jim Porter, Chief of Reservoir Operations, NYC DEP


10:00–10:15 Break


10:15–11:30 Description of the Weights in OST
Jim Porter, Chief of Reservoir Operations, NYC DEP


11:30–12:30 General Overview of How/Whether OST Validation
Rakesh Gelda, NYC DEP


12:30–1:30 Working Lunch


1:30–3:00 Application of OST in the Modification of the Catalum SPDES Permit EIS
Sangu Iyer, NYC DEP, and Ben Wright, Hazen and Sawyer


3:00–3:30 Open Mic Session

3:30–3:45 Break


3:45–5:00 Closed Session



Tuesday, April 25


8:30–10:30 Closed Session


10:30–10:45 Break


10:45–12:30 Open Session Discussion with Sponsor (if needed)


12:30–1:30 Working Lunch


1:00–5:00 Closed Session
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Monica Emelko
Paul Freedman
Jerry Gilbert
Bob Hirsch
Kim Jones
Debra Knopman
Cynthia Rosenzweig
Karen Sklenar
John Tobiason
Jim Uber

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

Further data needs, individual writing assignments and the outline for report.

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
May 01, 2017


Location:

Best Western Plus Kingston Hotel and Conference Center
503 Washington Avenue
Kingston, NY 12401
Event Type :  
-

Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Brendan McGovern
Contact Email:  bmcgovern@nas.edu
Contact Phone:  2023342496

Agenda
Thursday, January 5



Closed Session

8:30–10:15


Open Session

10:15–10:30 Introductions, Review of Meeting Agenda
Debra Knopman, Committee Chair, RAND Corp.


10:30–11:30 Overview of the New York City Water Supply
Paul Rush, Deputy Commissioner, NYC DEP


11:30–12:00 Filtration Avoidance Determination/Origin of Study
Dave Warne, Assistant Commissioner, NYC DEP


12:00–1:15 Working Lunch


12:30–1:15 Catskill Turbidity Program
Dave Warne, Assistant Commissioner, NYC DEP


1:15–1:45 Draft EIS for the Catalum SPDES permit
Kenneth Kosinski, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation


1:45–2:45 Remarks from the Regulatory Community
Paul Rush, NYC DEP
Kenneth Kosinski, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Pamela Young, NYS Department of Health


2:45–3:00 Break


3:00–3:45 Effects of Climate Change on NYC Water Supply
Allan Frei, Hunter College, CUNY; Emmett Owens, NYC DEP


3:45–5:30 Open Mic Session



Friday, January 6


Open Session

8:00–9:30 Introduction to the Operations Support Tool
James Porter, Chief of Reservoir Operations, NYC DEP


9:30–9:45 Break


Closed Session

9:45–12:00


Open Session


12:00–1:30 Working Lunch Discussion with Sponsor


1:30–1:45 Break


Closed Session


1:45–4:30
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Monica B. Emelko
Paul L. Freedman
Jerome B. Gilbert
Robert M. Hirsch
Kimberly L. Jones
Debra S. Knopman
Eugene J. LeBoeuf
Cynthia E. Rosenzweig
Karen Seligman Sklenar
John E. Tobiason
James G. Uber
Eric F. Wood

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

Committee Bias and Conflict of Interest Discussion
Committee member writing assignments

The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

None

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
January 13, 2017

Publications

  • Publications having no URL can be seen at the Public Access Records Office
Publications

No data present.