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Raincast: A seasonal forecasting system for drought management

Raincast improves the making-decision process of agencies and companies in the water (basin authorities), agriculture (farming associations) and industrial (hydropower companies) sectors, by fostering the adoption of the best and more efficient water management strategies during periods of low level of water in reservoirs (drought alert), and periods of high or normal levels of availability (reservoir operations). Raincast contributes to reduce the risk of drought onset and economic damages.

Developed by Meteobit
Raincast is a seasonal forecasting system for predicting rainfall and reservoir inflows which alerts when water levels in reservoirs are below the guarantee curve. It integrates statistical methods to characterize the hydroclimatic variability, and machine learning techniques used in artificial intelligence. By combining these tools, Raincast is able to provide a more accurate long-term prediction of rainfall and streamflows.

TRL6. Prototype system verified
Technology demonstrated in relevant environment. Representative model or prototype system, which is well beyond that of TRL 5, is tested in a relevant environment. Represents a major step up in a technology’s demonstrated readiness. Examples include testing a prototype in a high-fidelity laboratory environment or in a simulated operational environment. The system has been tested in a relevant environment, and used to forecast precipitation and reservoir inflows for an important company located in the Basque Country (Spain). Good performance indicators were achieved during these tests, and new technological improvements were additionally adopted. Furthermore, Raincast has been experimentally validated for a short number of local cases, but it requires a stronger validation using additional testing cases in order to confirm previous results and improve the accuracy of the outputs.

See more information about this level and the TRL and SRL levels.

The main components of the system have been tested separately, and an initial integration exercise has been conducted.

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Collaborators

How does it work?

Meteobit provides a reliable solution for the forecasting of rainfall and streamflows at seasonal and sub-seasonal scales commonly used by the public water supply and agricultural sectors, and other industrial end users. Using ensemble weather forecasting for precipitation, Raincast has been designed to provide critical forecast guidance as well as a true sense of forecast risk.
Meteobit’s product is a valuable tool for anticipating hydrological droughts and managing water resources.

Limitations/conditions under which this innovation does not work or is less effective

The accuracy of Raincast outputs rests on the availability of historical data of precipitation and streamflows. If historical data is lack, or timeseries are too short or of low quality, the self-calibration of the forecasting system may not be appropriate and, hence provide wrong or less accurate predictions.</p>

Added value
The seasonal forecasting tool developed by MeteoBit allows to retrieve forecasts with a high level of accuracy of atmospheric variables such as precipitation, reservoir status, etc. in different areas of southern Europe. Meteobit’s long-term forecasting system is a promising decision tool for water managers and private companies which may help to a better management of water resources.

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