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The Value of Forecasts for Robust, Dynamic Management of the Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River System under Climate Variability and Change

Wednesday, February 14, 2024 | 4:00 pm

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Please use this link to connect: Audience members will be able to join approximately 5 minutes before the scheduled starting time. 


Lake Ontario is one the largest managed lakes in the world, and its outflows are regulated at the Moses-Saunders Dam on the St. Lawrence River. Over 14 million people and 64,000 acres of wetlands are impacted by the water levels and flows in the Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River system. The current control policy that dictates releases from the Moses-Saunders Dam, Plan 2014, is the first of this system to use supply forecasts to inform release decisions. In this presentation, Dr. Steinschneider will present alternative control policies to Plan 2014 discovered using multi-objective optimization and discuss how these policies perform using forecasts at different lead-times, skill levels, and under plausible future climate scenarios. This information is necessary to understand how forecasts can be used to help dynamically navigate uncertain future climate changes while maintaining acceptable performance across a range of system objectives (flood risk reduction, hydropower production, commercial navigation, wetland biodiversity, and recreational boasting). Results from this work are directly supporting decision makers in their review of the current policy and in the formulation and evaluation process of a new operating policy for the system. 

About the Speaker

Scott Steinschneider is an Associate Professor of Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University.