A river system modelling platform for Murray-Darling Basin, Australia

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Global climate change and local development make water supply one of the most vulnerable sectors in Australia. The Australian government has therefore commissioned a series of projects to evaluate water availability and the sustainable use of water resources in Australia. This paper discusses a river system modelling platform that has been used in some of these nationally significant projects. The platform consists of three components: provenance, modelling engine and reporting database. The core component is the modelling engine, an agent-based hydrological simulation system called the Integrated River System Modelling Framework (IRSMF). All configuration information and inputs to IRSMF are recorded in the provenance component so that modelling processes can be reproduced and results audited. The reporting database is used to store key statistics and raw output time series data for selected key parameters. This river system modelling platform has for the first time modelled a river system at the basin level in Australia. It provides practitioners with a unique understanding of the characteristics and emergent behaviours of river systems at the basin level. Although the platform is purpose-built for the Murray-Darling Basin, it would be easy to apply it to other basins by using different river models to model agent behaviours.

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