Basin Futures: Supporting water planning in data poor basins

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Parashar, Amit; Pollino, Carmel; Taylor, Peter; Podger, Geoff; Rahman, Joel; Stewart, Joel


Conference Material

MODSIM, Hobart, 3/12/17


Water resources are under growing pressures globally. Sustainable water management requires good understanding of water resources, e.g. where water is stored and used, and how future developments may impact on water availability. Developing this understanding requires investment in data, models, experts and often multi-year timeframes. In the context of developing countries, in particular those with institutional gaps in the water sector, these challenges are difficult to overcome. In this paper we discuss Basin Futures, a response to three issues faced by technical institutions and water policy makers in developing countries, i.e. data availability, capability, capacity and costs. In Basin Futures, we aim to accelerate the progression toward detailed basin planning by offering access to data sets and models that facilitate the initial stages of basin planning. Basin Futures is a web based modelling platform that brings together global and local datasets to support water planning in developing countries. The system is designed to leverage investment in existing data (global + local), and then use this to empower decision-makers to understand the opportunities and constraints in managing their water resources. Basin Futures provides an enabling environment for planning, cooperation and participation in water management. It allows defensible decisions to be made at a level that is supported by available data. With the increasing availability and range of global data, e.g. from satellites, and technologies such as cloud computing, there is an opportunity to perform faster water assessments as an early stage of a large water assessment cycle. We have a developed a cloud-based approach that aims to give users a quicker route to an initial understanding of water resources in basins. Basin Futures integrates a range of global spatial datasets, include HydroSHEDS, global precipitation, and river discharge observations, with models built for use in a cloud environment. Together with a web-based application, this allows users to make an initial estimate of current water resources. Core to the value of Basin Futures is that it provides user-customisable scenarios that allow dynamic exploration of future scenarios, for example, construction of new storages, changes to irrigation practices, population growth, and climate change scenarios. Users are then able to visualise impacts on water-related security indices. This streamlined approach to water resource assessments gives users a powerful starting point for positioning future investments in new knowledge and planning activities. This paper will detail the driving requirements for the Basin Futures, the implementation using a range of cloud technologies, and outline a case study in an Indian basin.

The Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand Inc.

Basin Futures; Sustainable Development Goals; water resource assessments.

Surfacewater Hydrology; Environmental Management; Simulation and Modelling


Conference Abstract


Parashar, Amit; Pollino, Carmel; Taylor, Peter; Podger, Geoff; Rahman, Joel; Stewart, Joel. Basin Futures: Supporting water planning in data poor basins. In: MODSIM; 3/12/17; Hobart. The Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand Inc.; 2017. 1.

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