Brandon Forbes leads the USGS hydrologic monitoring program that provides real-time water resource data in the State of Colorado.
Brandon started his career in 2008 as a Hydrologic Technician with the Arizona Water Science Center in Tucson. His work focused on streamgage calibration, surveying, and water-use investigations. In 2012, Brandon joined the team as a Hydrologist and focused his work on surface-water modeling to improve the understanding of ephemeral river channel processes. During that time his focus turned to the use of close-range remote sensing techniques using uncrewed aircraft systems to enhance data collection. Brandon also specialized in the response to natural disasters and led teams in the collection of information to better understand the effects of major riverine flooding in Texas, flooding and storm surge during Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria and supported the response to the 2018 eruption of Kilauea.
In 2021, Brandon joined the Colorado Water Science Center as the Studies Section Chief of the Southeastern Office in Pueblo. Brandon worked with a team of Hydrologists and Hydrologic Technicians studying the water resources of the Arkansas River Basin. In 2022, Brandon became the Associate Center Director overseeing the Hydrologic Data Collection Program for the State of Colorado. Brandon works with a team of about 60 Hydrologic Technicians who maintain the roughly 355 streamgages, 110 raingages/meteorological sites, and 125 real-time water quality monitoring stations within Colorado.
Education and Certifications
MS University of Arizona in Ecohydrology. 2017
BS University of Arizona in Watershed Hydrology. 2010
Science and Products
Using small unmanned aircraft systems for measuring post-flood high-water marks and streambed elevations
Reach-scale monitoring and modeling of rivers--Expanding hydraulic data collection beyond the cross section
Modeling riparian restoration impacts on the hydrologic cycle at the Babacomari Ranch, SE Arizona, USA
Documentation of methods and inventory of irrigation data collected for the 2000 and 2005 U.S. Geological Survey Estimated use of water in the United States, comparison of USGS-compiled irrigation data to other sources, and recommendations for future comp
AzWSC Capabilities: Unmanned Aircraft Systems
High-Water Mark Survey of July 10, 2018, Flood at I-10 Frontage Rd at Twin Peaks Rd, Marana, AZ
Science and Products
Using small unmanned aircraft systems for measuring post-flood high-water marks and streambed elevationsFloods affected approximately two billion people around the world from 1998–2017, causing over 142,000 fatalities and over 656 billion U.S. dollars in economic losses. Flood data, such as the extent of inundation and peak flood stage, are needed to define the environmental, economic, and social impacts of significant flood events. Ground-based global positioning system (GPS) surveys of post-flood
Reach-scale monitoring and modeling of rivers--Expanding hydraulic data collection beyond the cross sectionFor over 125 years, the U.S. Geological Survey streamgage network has provided important hydrologic information about rivers and streams throughout the Nation. Traditional streamgage methods provide reliable stage and streamflow data but typically only monitor stage at a single location in a river and require frequent calibration streamflow measurements. Direct measurements are not always feasible
Modeling riparian restoration impacts on the hydrologic cycle at the Babacomari Ranch, SE Arizona, USAThis paper describes coupling field experiments with surface and groundwater modeling to investigate rangelands of SE Arizona, USA using erosion-control structures to augment shallow and deep aquifer recharge. We collected field data to describe the physical and hydrological properties before and after gabions (caged riprap) were installed in an ephemeral channel. The modular finite-difference flo
Documentation of methods and inventory of irrigation data collected for the 2000 and 2005 U.S. Geological Survey Estimated use of water in the United States, comparison of USGS-compiled irrigation data to other sources, and recommendations for future compEvery five years since 1950, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Use Information Program (NWUIP) has compiled water-use information in the United States and published a circular report titled "Estimated use of water in the United States," which includes estimates of water withdrawals by State, sources of water withdrawals (groundwater or surface water), and water-use category (irrigat
AzWSC Capabilities: Unmanned Aircraft SystemsThe Arizona Water Science Center (AzWSC) maintains a robust Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) program, functioning as a regional field office for the USGS National Unmanned Projects Office (NUPO). We assist with close-range remote sensing data collection and processing for our regional and national cooperators including other Dept of Interior (DOI) Bureaus, while complying with all DOI and FAA...
High-Water Mark Survey of July 10, 2018, Flood at I-10 Frontage Rd at Twin Peaks Rd, Marana, AZA train derailment occurred in Marana, Arizona, on July 10, 2018. Runoff from a severe thunderstorm was flowing over the tracks at the time and may have contributed to the derailment. At the request of the Pima County Regional Flood Control District, USGS collected high-water marks for the flood event upstream from the derailment area.