MCWRA Member News – Hydrologic Warning Systems 101

July 21, 2017

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Corps of Engineers’ Silver Jackets recently facilitated a webinar, presented by Dr. David C. Curtis, WEST Consultants, Inc. Senior Vice President, through the Watershed University program on the topic of Hydrologic Warning Systems. Dr. Curtis represented the National Hydrologic Warning Council, as their former president, board of director’s member, and longtime member.

The webinar provided a basic introduction to planning, designing, and implementing hydrologic warning systems.  Key questions addressed in the webinar included:

1.       What is the purpose of a hydrologic warning system?

2.       How are potential benefits of a hydrologic warning system achieved?

3.       How is a hydrologic warning system configured?

4.       How many gages are needed?

5.       What type of automation is needed?

6.       What are the roles of the Internet, cloud computing, and social media?

7.       How can hydrologic warning systems impact flood insurance rates?

8.       How is public engagement facilitated?

Access to the recorded webinar and a pdf version of the presentation are available for free on the California Department of Water Resources’ website:

Webinar Recording: Hydrologic Warning Systems 101 (MP4, 187 MB)

Presentation: Hydrologic Warning Systems 101 (PDF: 12 MB)

About the Speaker:

For the past 40 years, Dr. Curtis, Ph.D., F.EWRI, Sr. Vice President, WEST Consultants, Inc., has been on the leading edge of hydro-meteorological and flood risk management services. He has been involved in the design, development, and implementation of award winning innovations in more than 50 automated environmental and flood monitoring systems across the U.S. and in eighteen countries abroad. His efforts led to the Connecticut Statewide Flood Warning System, the nation’s first statewide system. Dr. Curtis can be reached by phone at 916-932-7402 or by email at

WEST Consultants, Inc. (WEST) is a small business firm providing government and private clients with water resources engineering consulting services, including hydrologic and hydraulic engineering, hydrologic data collection and hydrographic surveying, environmental engineering, flood hazard studies, flood warning and forecasting, reservoir systems operations and water control manuals, geomorphology and sediment transport studies, stormwater management, dam/levee engineering and safety investigations, irrigation and drainage studies, technology development, expert consulting, and UAS services.

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