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42 U.S. Code § 10371 - Water prediction and forecasting

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(a) National Water Center
(1) Establishment
(A) In generalThe Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere shall establish a center—
to serve as the research and operational center of excellence for hydrologic analyses, forecasting, and related decision support services within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service; and
to facilitate collaboration across Federal and State departments and agencies, academia, and the private sector on matters relating to water resources.
(B) Designation

The center established under subparagraph (A) shall be known as the “National Water Center”.

(2) FunctionsThe functions of the National Water Center shall include the following:
Improving understanding of water resources, stakeholder needs regarding water resources, and identifying science and services gaps relating to water resources.
Developing and implementing advanced water resources modeling capabilities.
Facilitating the transition of hydrologic research into operations.
Delivering analyses, forecasts, and inundation information and guidance for all hydrologic events in the United States, including flash flooding, riverine flooding, and water resources outlooks.
In coordination with warning coordination meteorologists, providing decision-support services to inform emergency management and water resources decisions.
(b) National instructions
(1) In general

Not later than one year after December 31, 2020, the Under Secretary, acting through the Director of the National Weather Service, shall make public an operations and services policy directive for the National Water Center.

(2) ContentsThe directive required by paragraph (1) shall include national instructions to perform the functions of the National Water Center, including the following:
Operational staff responsibilities.
Guidelines for content, format, and provision of hydrologic and inundation products developed by the National Water Center.
Procedures for cooperation and coordination between the National Water Center, the National Weather Service National Centers for Environmental Prediction, National Weather Service River Forecast Centers, and National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices.
(c) Total water predictionThe Under Secretary, acting through the Director of the Office of Water Prediction of the National Weather Service, shall—
initiate and lead research and development activities to develop operational water resource prediction and related decision support products;
(2) collaborate with, and provide decision support regarding total water prediction to—
the relevant Federal agencies represented on the National Science and Technology Council, Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability and the Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction;
State water resource agencies; and
State and local emergency management agencies; and
in carrying out the responsibilities described in paragraphs (1) and (2), collaboratively develop capabilities necessary for total water predictive capacity, including observations, modeling, data management, supercomputing, social science, and communications.
(d) Authorization of appropriationsThere are authorized to be appropriated to carry out the activities under this section amounts as follows:
$44,500,000 for fiscal year 2021.
$45,000,000 for fiscal year 2022.
$45,500,000 for fiscal year 2023.
$46,000,000 for fiscal year 2024.
(e) Derivation of funds

Funds to carry out this section shall be derived from amounts authorized to be appropriated to the National Weather Service and the National Ocean Service that are enacted after December 31, 2020.

Editorial Notes

Section was enacted as part of the Coordinated Ocean Observations and Research Act of 2020, and not as part of subtitle F of title IX of Pub. L. 111–11 which comprises this chapter.