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Welcome to the Streamflow Forecast Rodeo Challenge Series!

This challenge seeks to improve the skill of short-term streamflow forecasts (10 days) via a year-long competition. Solvers will develop and implement their methods for locations across the western United States, attempting to outperform state of practice streamflow forecasts.

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Gauge Height & Discharge

Aug 2, 2020

1.99 ftGauge Height
23.5 cfsDischarge

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Why this Matters

Streamflow forecasts are integral to water management. With higher skill forecasts, water managers can likely better operate facilities for high flows, to mitigate drought impacts, and to achieve other improved outcomes (e.g. hydropower generation).

The growing capability of Artificial Intelligence (AI) / Machine Learning (ML) and High-Performance Computing (HPC) has begun to be applied toward generating streamflow forecasts. This has the potential to complement traditional physically based streamflow forecast methods via hybrid or purely data-driven approaches. This challenge aims to spur innovation in the field of streamflow forecasting, with emphasis on assessing the potential application of ML/AI for streamflow forecasting.

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Remaining Prizes

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Total Challenges

Challenges and Prizes

We have up to $500,000 in total prizes to give away. The “warm-up” Marathon match, concluded in September 2020, awarded a total prize purse of $34,000. The Real-Time Forecasting Challenge has up to $466,000 in total prizes. Each of the 12 monthly competitions occurring over a year-long period have a prize purse of $13,000. Up to $325,000 in bonus prizes will be awarded based on quarterly and overall performance and outperforming state-of-practice for the same periods.


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Real-Time Forecasting Challenge


On September 23, 2020, the year-long competition kicked-off which consists of 12 monthly competitions. Each month, a new challenge is posted for competitors to provide real-time daily streamflow forecasts (10 days) and compete against other competitors and multiple benchmark state-of-practice forecasts. Monthly prizes will be awarded to the top 10 competitors. Quarterly bonuses and an overall bonus will also be awarded to the top 10 competitors outperforming state-of-practice for the same period.


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Streamflow Hindcast Challenge


Beginning on 28th August 2020, we kicked-off the streamflow forecasting challenge series by conducting a Marathon Match. Solvers in the Marathon Match explored and developed innovative solutions using Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning and additional data sets / ideas to meet objective scoring of current forecasting methods. Solver algorithms were judged by how closely the predicted streamflow matches the actual measured values.

Check the winners in the leaderboard below.


The Q3 scores will be updated in Apr, 2021.

The Q4 scores will be updated in Jul, 2021.

This is a future challenge.

This is a future challenge.

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Participation Individual or in Teams Competitors


Participation Individual or in Teams Competitors may compete individually or form teams (optional) for selected challenges on this project.


Competitors may work with colleagues they already know, and/or with rated Topcoder members.


In the teaming option, the team formation may occur offline.


Each member in the team needs to register themselves on Topcoder platform as per the eligibility requirement.


The team will define a captain to submit a solution on behalf of the team.


Prize splits are determined in advance, and recorded on a single affidavit signed by all team members.

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We will have a link to another site where the leaderboard will be showing scoring for the year-long competition.

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Topcoder Project Manager and team will develop the scoring system for this challenge as per input provided by CEATI and RTI.

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About the Bureau of Reclamation

Established in 1902, the Bureau of Reclamation is best known for the dams, powerplants, and canals it constructed in the 17 western states. These water projects led to homesteading and promoted the economic development of the West. Reclamation has constructed more than 600 dams and reservoirs including Hoover Dam on the Colorado River and Grand Coulee on the Columbia River.

Today, Reclamation is the largest wholesaler of water in the country. They bring water tomore than 31 million people and provide one out of five Western farmers (140,000) with irrigation water for 10 million acres of farmland that produce 60% of the nation’s vegetables and 25% of its fruits and nuts.

Reclamation is also the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States. 53 powerplants annually provide more than 40 billion kilowatt hours generating nearly a billion dollars in power revenues and produce enough electricity to serve 3.5 million homes.

Reclamation is a contemporary water management agency with a Strategic Plan outlining numerous programs, initiatives and activities that will help the Western States, Native American Tribes and others meet new water needs and balance the multitude of competing uses of water in the West. Reclamation’s mission is to assist in meeting the increasing water demands of the West while protecting the environment and the public’sinvestment in these structures. Reclamation places great emphasis on fulfilling water delivery obligations, water conservation, water recycling and reuse, and developing partnerships with their customers, states, and Native American Tribes, and in finding ways to bring together the variety of interests to address the competing needs for our limited water resources.

Learn more at:

Reclamation's Mission

The mission of the Bureau of Reclamation is to manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public.

HOW to participate in this Challenge?

The first thing you probably want to do as a competitor is to see what challenges are available to you to participate in. You can find all available challenges on the Challenge Listings page.

For more information around challenges please visit Thrive.