$500,000 prize pool: BLM’s water supply forecast competition

Hungry Horse Dam
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The Bureau of Reclamation has launched a “Water Supply Forecast RodeoOpens in a new tab.” prize competition aimed at fostering innovation and improvements in seasonal water supply prediction methods. Accurate water supply forecasts are essential for effective water resource management in the Western United States, facilitating drought mitigation, enhancing hydropower generation, and meeting environmental objectives, the BLM says.

A prize pool of $500,000 has been allocated by the Bureau of Reclamation for this competition.

David Raff, Reclamation Chief Engineer, highlighted the significance of seasonal water supply forecasts. “Seasonal water supply forecasts are critical to informing water management and operations across the Western U.S. Improving seasonal forecasts will allow water managers to better meet all of the needs for water including irrigation, hydropower generation, and the environment,” he said.

Participants in this challenge, either as individuals or teams, will be tasked with creating water supply forecast models that can predict seasonal runoff volumes at 26 locations throughout the Western U.S. Additionally, they must characterize forecast uncertainty and provide insights into forecasted conditions.

The competition includes both hindcast and forecast stages. During the hindcast stage, participants will demonstrate their ability to predict past conditions, while the forecast stage will involve predicting water supply during the winter and spring of 2024.

Reclamation has partnered with several organizations for this competition, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA Tournament Lab, and DrivenData.

For more information about this competition, please visit https://www.drivendata.org/competitions/group/reclamation-water-supply-forecast/Opens in a new tab..

Image via Bureau of Reclamation press releaseOpens in a new tab.: “Hungry Horse Dam – one of the potential locations where prize competition solvers will test their contest solutions.”


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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