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Bay-Delta Office
Department of Water Resources

1416 9th Street,
Sacramento, Ca 95814

Mailing Address:
P. O. Box 942836,
Sacramento, Ca 94236-0001

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 Delta Modeling Section Chief


Image of Tara Smith

Tara Smith
Chief, Delta Modeling Section
Bay-Delta Office
California Department of Water Resources
1416, 9th Street, Room 215-7
Sacramento, CA 95814

e-mail: tara@water.ca.gov
Telephone: (916) 653-9885
FAX: (916) 653-6077


Tara Smith, as the Chief of the Delta Modeling Section, supervises a staff of 20 engineers who specialize in the development and application of estuarine modeling. She has served as chief since September 2002 and has been with the Department of Water Resources since 1990. She began her career in Delta modeling in 1990 by incorporating a temperature model into the Department's Delta Simulation Model (DSM1). Her technical experience in Delta Modeling includes the hydrodynamic and water quality applications of DSM1 and DSM2 in historic, forecasting and planning modes. Her experience also includes the development and application of the particle tracking model (PTM), a module of DSM1 and later a module of DSM2.

Under Tara's supervision, engineers within the section work on a variety of different estuarine model development projects and applications. Applications include modeling simulations in support of State Water Project operations in the recent drought, California Water Fix, South Delta Temporary Barriers Program, Municipal Water Quality Investigations Program, Island Flooding, and Climate Change.

Development projects include:

  • Updating and maintaining the open source DSM2 and associated programs including,
    • the development of the General Transport Module (GTM). This module will replace DSM2-QUAL and will include the capabilities of Qual while also being updated to include sediment transport, and
    • cross section development program replacement which uses DEMs to create cross sections in DSM2.
  • Developing updated consumptive use models and estimates of in Delta Net Channel Depletions,
  • Development of Bay-Delta SCHISM, an open source, cross-scale multidimensional model, and associated pre and post processing programs and visualization tools.
  • Tara holds a B.S. degree in Engineering from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and a M.S. degree from the Department of Civil Engineering, University of California at Davis.

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