Streamflow Prediction with Limited Spatially-Distributed Input Data (Papers Track)

Martin Gauch (University of Waterloo); Juliane Mai (University of Waterloo); Shervan Gharari (University of Saskatchewan); Jimmy Lin (University of Waterloo)

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Abstract

Climate change causes more frequent and extreme weather phenomena across the globe. Accurate streamflow prediction allows for proactive and mitigative action in some of these events. As a first step towards models that predict streamflow in watersheds for which we lack ground truth measurements, we explore models that work on spatially-distributed input data. In such a scenario, input variables are more difficult to acquire, and thus models have access to limited training data. We present a case study focusing on Lake Erie, where we find that tree-based models can yield more accurate predictions than both neural and physically-based models.