Resolving Hydrometeorological Data Discontinuities along an International Border

Gronewold, Andrew D. ; Fortin, Vincent ; Caldwell, Robert ; Noel, James

Année de publication
Monitoring, understanding, and forecasting the hydrologic cycle of large freshwater basins often requires a broad suite of data and models. Many of these datasets and models, however, are susceptible to variations in monitoring infrastructure and data dissemination protocols when watershed, political, and jurisdictional boundaries do not align. Reconciling hydrometeorological monitoring gaps and inconsistencies across the international Laurentian Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River basin is particularly challenging because of its size and because the basin's dominant hydrologic feature is the vast surface waters of the Great Lakes. For tens of millions of Canadian and U.S. residents that live within the Great Lakes basin, seamless binational datasets are needed to better understand and predict coastal water-level fluctuations and other conditions that could potentially threaten human and environmental health. Binational products addressing this need have historically been developed and maintained by the Coordinating Committee on Great Lakes Basic Hydraulic and Hydrologic Data (Coordinating Committee). The Coordinating Committee recently held its one-hundredth semiannual meeting and reflected on a range of historical accomplishments while setting goals for future work. This article provides a synthesis of those achievements and goals. Particularly significant legacy and recently developed datasets of the Coordinating Committee include historical Great Lakes surface water elevations, basin-scale tributary inflow to the Great Lakes, and basin-scale estimates of both over-lake and over-land precipitation. Moving forward, members of the Coordinating Committee will work toward customizing state-of-the-art hydrologic and meteorological forecasting systems across the entire Great Lakes basin and toward promoting their products and protocols as templates for successful binational coordination across other large binational freshwater basins.

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