Technical Workshops

Maximize your Congress attendance by participating in a free Technical Workshop taught by a trusted subject matter expert.

2017 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan Update: Advancing the Vision and Detailing the Effective Implementation of Investments

Monday, May 22
2:00 – 5:30 p.m.

The session would comprise a series of presentations setting out the context and goals of the 2017 update of the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (CVFPP), and describing key technical analyses feeding into the planning work undertaken by the California Department of Water Resources. Topics covered would include:

  • An Outcome-driven approach to flood management in California’s Central Valley
  • Changing Flood Risks in the Central Valley under climate change
  • Evaluation of Subsidence impacts on flood risks in the San Joaquin Basin
  • Identifying the True Cost of Operation, Maintenance, Repair, Rehabilitation and Replacement of Major
  • Central Valley Flood Management System Facilities
  • Analytical assessment of flood risk and life loss over time
  • Multi-Benefit Project Development and Flood Management Planning
  • Case Studies of Multiple Objective Operation & Maintenance Programs as Examples for DWR Flood Control Operation & Maintenance Program

The geographic scale and complexities of the plan’s coverage will make this an interesting session for flood risk management and planning practitioners from across California and beyond.

NASA Remote Sensing Data, Tools and Research in Support of Water Resource Management

Monday, May 22
4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Instructor: Stephanie Granger

NASA’s Western Water Applications office (WWAO) headquartered at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) supports Western U. S. water management by putting NASA data to work in decision support. NASA has an unprecedented suite of capabilities that can complement and add value to the Nation’s substantial investments in monitoring, mapping and modeling systems to enable the provision of actionable information about water availability, extreme events, water quality, and infrastructure integrity. This includes eighteen space-borne missions, a fleet of airborne instruments, comprehensive simulation models, advanced computing resources, emerging technologies, new data sharing platforms, and capacity building.

The purpose of the technical workshop is to familiarize attendees with emerging capabilities that can be used to address water management needs by systematic application of existing and emerging remote sensing and in-situ observational systems together with appropriate data assimilation/model frameworks and data portals. Specific examples covered during the workshop include: i) the use of NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO) to quantify snowpack and improve runoff models in California and Colorado; ii) the development of a time-series of land surface deformation maps over California’s Central Valley that enable policy makers to monitor regions of subsidence related to groundwater pumping, to identify regions in danger of permanent compaction, and to pinpoint potential hazardous impacts to the aqueduct due to localized subsidence; and iii) a technique for mapping and monitoring fallowed land from space that supports drought mitigation efforts in California.

1D/2D Unsteady Flow Modeling & Output Visualization with HEC-RAS 5.0

Tuesday, May 23
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Instructor: Gary Brunner

HEC-RAS 5.0 represents the most significant advancement of HEC-RAS in the last decade and includes many new features that will allow users to more accurately and more efficiently map the consequences of potential floods for hazard classification and emergency action planning. The most significant new feature of HEC-RAS 5.0 is the addition of two-dimensional modeling capabilities and significant improvements to the RAS Mapper utility for mapping results. This workshop is designed to give users an overview of the new 2D modeling capabilities and how to use HEC-RAS Mapper to visualize the results.


  • Overview of 1D/2D unsteady flow modeling with HEC-RAS
  • How to use 2D flow areas within HEC-RAS
  • Modeling Dam/Levee overtopping and breaching with combined 1D and 2D flow areas
  • Visualizing Output with RAS Mapper

Riverbank Filtration for Water Supply in the United States

Tuesday, May 23
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Instructors: Chittaranian Ray & Matthew Reed

Riverbank filtration (RBF) is a simple, yet effective treatment technology that uses the natural soil and aquifer media to remove various pollutants from river water during induced infiltration of river water to pumping wells. In alluvial aquifers, when wells are placed sufficiently close to a river and pumped, the drawdown caused at the well induces the river water to flow towards the well screens. During soil and aquifer passage, various pollutants from river water are removed. For a bank filtration system to operate, there must be a source present (river or lake), the quality of the water must be relatively good, and there has to be a hydraulic connection between the river/lake and the aquifer (in other words in confined aquifer settings RBF is not effective). The quality of the source water and local hydrogeologic conditions are expected to influence the quality of filtrate water produced from RBF systems. We will consider the planning, design, installation, monitoring, and evaluation aspects of RBF systems with reference to specific US sites.

CFD Application in Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Treatment Workshop

Tuesday, May 23
2:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Instructors: Jie Zhang & Xiaofeng Liu

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has been demonstrated to be useful in evaluating and troubleshooting existing water, wastewater and stormwater systems and improving future designs. However, due to the legacy of traditional methods, including experimental methods and empirical models, and the lack of CFD experts in the water and wastewater treatment community, the majority of environmental engineers are not aware of the usefulness of CFD. Some environmental engineers may be aware of CFD, but hesitate to adopt it since CFD might require expertise in fields outside environmental engineering such as numerical analysis and computational science. Thus, in practice, most environmental engineers are still using traditional models or experiments which cost significant sums of money, time and resources. To promote CFD to the water, wastewater and stormwater treatment community, development of a primer on CFD applications in water, wastewater and stormwater treatment (or ‘CFD primer’ in short) was proposed. The CFD primer would include general procedures for conducting flow and tracer transport simulations using CFD and specific example applications to water, wastewater and stormwater treatment. With this primer, the requirement of prior knowledge of numerical analysis and computational science would be greatly reduced. Engineers may follow the detailed examples in the primer and ultimately be able to adapt one or more of these examples to solve their problem of interest. It is anticipated that the CFD community in water and wastewater engineering would grow through this effort. The EWRI CFD task committee was established in October 2015 to take the lead on this effort. Within half a year after the establishment, the task committee expanded to 28 members who are from 15 different states. At the 2016 World Environmental & Water Resources Congress, a new technical session titled CFD Applications in Water and Wastewater Engineering was organized by the EWRI CFD task committee and attracted more than 30 participants.

Introduction to the Hydrologic Modeling System (HEC-HMS)

Wednesday, May 24
4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Instructor: Matthew Fleming

The Hydrologic Modeling System (HEC-HMS) can be used for many hydrologic studies such as flood damage reduction, water availability, spillway adequacy, and flow forecasting among others. The most common features of the program for use across many types of studies will be presented. Meteorologic processes for precipitation, evapotranspiration, and snowmelt will be described. Catchment simulation with subbasin elements and channel simulation with reach elements will be covered. The reservoir element will be presented with applications to lakes, reservoirs, pump stations, and dam failure analysis. Advanced topics in erosion and sediment transport, and uncertainty analysis with Monte Carlo techniques will also be included.

Real-Time Hydrologic & Hydraulic Simulation with HEC-RTS Version 3.0

Thursday, May 25
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Instructors: Bill Charley & Fauwaz Hanbali

The Hydrologic Engineering Center’s Real-Time Simulation (HEC-RTS) program is a comprehensive data management as well as hydrologic and hydraulic modeling system for short-term water management decision support. Through HEC-DSS (Data Storage System), HEC-RTS facilitates the real-time use of observed and forecasted precipitation, observed flows and stages, and other meteorological and hydrologic data. HEC-RTS also facilitates the integration of HEC-HMS (Hydrologic Modeling System) for forecasting flows throughout a watershed, HEC-ResSim (Reservoir System Simulation) for simulating reservoir operations and release decisions, HEC-RAS (River Analysis System) for forecasting river stages and producing flood inundation maps, and HEC-FIA (Flood Impact Analysis) for estimating potential flood impacts on life safety and agricultural and urban infrastructure.

This short course will provide an overview of HEC-RTS and its data and modeling components. The course will also include HEC-RTS exercises that demonstrate the acquisition of real-time data, the use of forecasted precipitation for flow forecasting, and flood inundation map generation for decision support.

Introduction Watershed Analysis Tool, HEC-WAT

Thusday, May 25
2:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Instructors: Christopher Dunn & Penni Baker

HEC-WAT is a tool for integrating the hydrologic, hydraulic, reservoir simulation and flow consequence evaluation in USACE H&H communities. Primary objectives of this short course are to understand the advantages of a watershed and system-based approach to performing studies; identify the importance of establishing a common framework of physical data for use by all study teams; illustrate the use of linking editors to interface the inputs and results of the models; establish practical guidelines for WAT execution; run the WAT; and interpret analysis results. Also the flood risk analysis (FRA) compute option of the HEC-WAT software is covered, which allows water resource studies to be performed in a watershed, systems-based context within a risk analysis and life-cycle context.

New Sediment Transport Features in HEC-RAS

Thursday, May 25
8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Instructor: Standford Gibson

HEC-RAS 5.0 includes several new sediment features. Unsteady sediment transport improves reservoir sediment modeling capabilities and connects the sediment model to several useful unsteady flow features like lateral structures and operational rules. Additionally, HEC-RAS version 5.0 connects the classic vertical bed change sediment model with the USDA-ARS Bank Stability and Toe Erosion Model, allowing HEC-RAS cross sections to also adjust laterally. This short course will introduce these and other sediment modeling features new to HEC-RAS version 5.0 and will preview some of the sediment tools HEC is developing for HEC-RAS version 5.1. Students will have the opportunity to set up and run an HEC-RAS sediment model.

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