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Modeling, Operations, Recreation: Weather data has multiple uses in water management
CUWCD manages a network of water facilities with the goal of providing clean, useable water to customers in Central Utah. According to their website, “The District is proud of its role in managing the water in its jurisdiction and using technology, intelligence and hard work to ensure the best possible balance for man and nature.”
As part of this management and use of technology, Orion Weather Stations are located at Jordanelle Dam and Utah Lake Pumping Station with three more soon to be delivered. The weather monitoring systems include the Orion all-in-one sensor unit as well as Weather MicroServers with additional tipping bucket rain gauge and solar radiation sensors. (The Weather MicroServer allows additional optional sensors to be added to all-in-one weather station models such as the Orion, Magellan and Pulsar.
According to Jonathon Sudar, Control Systems Technician, “Our weather data is collected through a PLC and then stored in a historian program where it can be represented graphically and reviewed. Some of the data (temp, wind speed, precip and solar loading) is exported and used for modeling purposes for our reservoirs. One example where the data is used is in our evaporation modeling.”
Additionally, “We monitor and track precipitation levels and make decisions on how best to serve current customers and store water for future generations,” according to the website.
“Certain weather conditions trigger actions at our facilities,” he says. “We have one facility where we monitor air temperature, wind speed and water temperature. We know from past experience what combination of these parameters will cause ice to form on our intake screens and when we need to open the bypass gates.”
Current weather data is available to the public on a website. “People may use the data to determine if current weather conditions are conducive to fishing, boating, water skiing, etc…,” Sudar reports.
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