Water Resources Modeler
Water Resources Modeler


Dr. Sean Turner is a water resources modeler in the Earth Systems Science Division at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He began his career in industry, where he developed risk assessment tools to support water resources planning activities at major utilities in the United Kingdom and Australia. He then completed a postdoctoral appointment at the Singapore University of Technology and Design before coming to the United States to work at the Joint Global Change Research Institute in Maryland.

Turner’s research interests include reservoir optimization, applications of seasonal streamflow forecasts, large-scale water resources modeling, and analysis of drought impacts on water-dependent sectors. His current research activities include the study of climate impacts on electricity supply systems, analysis of drought impacts on hydropower generation, and development of new ways to represent of water infrastructure and management in global and regional hydrology models. Turner is an open source software enthusiast, and he maintains the R packages “reservoir,” “scenario,” “hydrofixr,” “capratTX,” and “starfit.”

Research Interest

  • Reservoir operations
  • Drought impacts on water-dependent sectors
  • Water resources planning and management
  • Interdependencies between water, energy and food systems


  • EngD in Water Resources Planning, Cranfield University
  • MSc in Hydrology and Climate Change, Newcastle University
  • BSc in Engineering Environmental Design, University of Glasgow

Awards and Recognitions

  • Editor’s Highlight, Nature Communications (2021)
  • Top 25 Most Read Article, Nature Communications (2021)
  • Best Reviewer, Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management (2018)
  • Editors' Highlight, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (2017)
  • Top Performing Research Engineer, STREAM Industrial Doctorate Centre (2011)
  • Pavel Novak Prize for Best Overall Performance (water), Newcastle University (2010)
  • Best Project in Civil Engineering Hydraulics, University of Glasgow (2008)
  • Dean's List, University of Glasgow (2008)



Steyaert J., L. Condon, S. Turner, and N. Voisin. 2022. "ResOpsUS, A Dataset of Historical Reservoir Operations in the Contiguous United States." Scientific Data 9. PNNL-SA-161017. doi:10.1038/s41597-022-01134-7

Turner S., and N. Voisin. 2022. "Simulation of hydropower at subcontinental to global scales: a state-of-the-art review." Environmental Research Letters 17, no. 2:Art. No. 023002. PNNL-SA-168239. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ac4e38


Galelli S., H. Nguyen, S. Turner, and B.M. Buckley. 2021. "Time to use dendrohydrological data in water resources management?." Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 147, no. 8:Article No. 01821001. PNNL-SA-159331. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0001422

Thurber T.B., C.R. Vernon, N. Sun, S. Turner, J.J. Yoon, and N. Voisin. 2021. "mosartwmpy: A Python implementation of the MOSART-WM coupled hydrologic routing and water management model." Journal of Open Source Software 6, no. 62:3221. PNNL-SA-161232. doi:10.21105/joss.03221

Turner S., J. Steyaert, L. Condon, and N. Voisin. 2021. "Water storage and release policies for all large reservoirs of conterminous United States." Journal of Hydrology 603, no. Part A:126843. PNNL-SA-161029. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2021.126843

Turner S., J.S. Rice, K.D. Nelson, C.R. Vernon, R. Mcmanamay, K. Dickson, and L. Marston. 2021. "Comparison of potential drinking water source contamination across one hundred U.S. cities." Nature Communications 12. PNNL-SA-160268. doi:10.1038/s41467-021-27509-9

Turner S., K.D. Nelson, N. Voisin, V.C. Tidwell, A. Miara, A. Dyreson, and S. Cohen, et al. 2021. "A multi-reservoir model for projecting drought impacts on thermoelectric disruption risk across the Texas power grid." Energy 231. PNNL-SA-158805. doi:10.1016/j.energy.2021.120892


Graham N.T., M.I. Hejazi, M. Chen, E. Davies, J.A. Edmonds, S.H. Kim, and S. Turner, et al. 2020. "Humans drive future water scarcity changes across all Shared Socioeconomic Pathways." Environmental Research Letters 15, no. 1:Article No. 014007. PNNL-SA-151297. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ab639b

Nguyen H., S. Turner, B.M. Buckley, and S. Galelli. 2020. "Coherent streamflow variability in Monsoon Asia over the past eight centuries---links to oceanic drivers." Water Resources Research 56, no. 12:Article No. e2020WR027883. PNNL-SA-148408. doi:10.1029/2020WR027883

Turner S., K.M. Doering, and N. Voisin. 2020. "Data-driven reservoir simulation in a large-scale hydrological and water resource model." Water Resources Research 56, no. 10:Article No.e2020WR027902. PNNL-SA-153063. doi:10.1029/2020WR027902

Turner S., W. Xu, and N. Voisin. 2020. "Inferred inflow forecast horizons guiding reservoir release decisions across the United States." Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 24, no. 3:1275-1291. PNNL-SA-142797. doi:10.5194/hess-24-1275-2020

Voisin N., A. Dyreson, T. Fu, M. O'Connell, S. Turner, T. Zhou, and J. Macknick. 2020. "Impact of climate change on water availability and its propagation through the Western U.S. power grid." Applied Energy 276. PNNL-SA-150871. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2020.115467


Arango S., S. Turner, K. Daenzer, J. Ríos-Ocampo, M.I. Hejazi, T. Kober, and A.C. Alvarez, et al. 2019. "Climate impacts on hydropower in Colombia: A multi-model assessment of power sector adaptation pathways." Energy Policy 128. PNNL-SA-130753. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2018.12.057

Bond-Lamberty B., K.R. Dorheim, Y. Cui, R.L. Horowitz, A.C. Snyder, K.V. Calvin, and L. Feng, et al. 2019. "gcamdata: An R Package for Preparation, Synthesis, and Tracking of Input Data for the GCAM Integrated Human-Earth Systems Model." Journal of Open Research Software 7, no. 1:Article No. 6. PNNL-SA-135553. doi:10.5334/jors.232

Santos Da Silva S., F.R. Miralles-Wilhelm, R. Muñoz Castillo, L.E. Clarke, C.J. Braun, A. Delgado, and J.A. Edmonds, et al. 2019. "The Paris pledges and the energy-water-land nexus in Latin America: Exploring implications of greenhouse gas emission reductions." PLoS One 14, no. 4:e0215013. PNNL-SA-136697. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0215013

Turner S., M.I. Hejazi, C. Yonkofski, S.H. Kim, and P. Kyle. 2019. "Influence of groundwater extraction costs and resource depletion limits on simulated global nonrenewable water withdrawals over the twenty-first century." Earth's Future 7, no. 2:123-135. PNNL-SA-129871. doi:10.1029/2018EF001105

Turner S., M.I. Hejazi, K.V. Calvin, P. Kyle, and S.H. Kim. 2019. "A pathway of global food supply adaptation in a world with increasingly constrained groundwater." Science of the Total Environment 673. PNNL-SA-141009. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.04.070

Turner S., N. Voisin, J. Fazio, D. Hua, and M. Jourachi. 2019. "Compound climate events transform electrical power shortfall risk in the Pacific Northwest." Nature Communications 10, no. 1:Article No. 8. PNNL-SA-136249. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-07894-4

Vernon C.R., M.I. Hejazi, S. Turner, Y. Liu, C.J. Braun, X. Li, and R.P. Link. 2019. "A Global Hydrologic Framework to Accelerate Scientific Discovery." Journal of Open Research Software 7, no. 1:Article No. 1. PNNL-SA-137438. doi:10.5334/jors.245


Cui Y., K.V. Calvin, L.E. Clarke, M.I. Hejazi, S.H. Kim, P. Kyle, and P.L. Patel, et al. 2018. "Regional responses to future, demand-driven water scarcity." Environmental Research Letters 13, no. 9:Article No. 094006. PNNL-SA-132928. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aad8f7

Lucena A., M.I. Hejazi, E. Vasquez-Arroyo, S. Turner, A. Köberle, K. Daenzer, and P. Rochedo, et al. 2018. "Interactions between climate change mitigation and adaptation: The case of hydropower in Brazil." Global Environmental Change 164. PNNL-SA-130754. doi:10.1016/j.energy.2018.09.005


Turner S., J. Bennett, D. Robertson, and S. Galelli. 2017. "Complex relationship between seasonal streamflow forecast skill and value in reservoir operations." Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 21, no. 9:4841-4859. PNNL-SA-126975. doi:10.5194/hess-21-4841-2017

Turner S., J.Y. Ng, and S. Galelli. 2017. "Examining global electricity supply vulnerability to climate change using a high-fidelity hydropower dam model." Science of the Total Environment 590-591. PNNL-ACT-SA-10218. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.03.022

Turner S., M.I. Hejazi, S.H. Kim, L.E. Clarke, and J.A. Edmonds. 2017. "Climate impacts on hydropower and consequences for global electricity supply investment needs." Energy 141. PNNL-SA-125443. doi:10.1016/j.energy.2017.11.089