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Predicting water quantity and quality in China`s Taihu Basin

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Courtesy of Innovyze

Knowing the amount of water available and its quality is key to undertaking rational and sustainable exploitation and protection of water resources. Real-time monitoring of these parameters is indispensable, as is developing a decision-support system that can use this data to achieve effective management and protection of resources.

China began investigating water resource decision support systems in the 1980s, but has not yet developed a coordination and management system that is capable of serving the whole country. This is because system development has been limited to particular areas or river basins, and research into water resource decision support systems based on real-time monitoring of quality and quantity is still at a very early stage.

Developed countries began researching water resource decision support techniques ahead of China, and have created comparatively self-contained systems utilizing modern information technologies that have proved to be of tremendous social and economic benefit.

However China, whose government has pledged to tackle the issue of pollution in its rivers, is moving to take advantage of this expertise. Its new approach is illustrated by the use of Wallingford Software’s InfoWorks RS river and channel modeling solution to predict quality and quantity issues on the Wangyu river.

The Wangyu river is a branch of the Yangtze, which feeds the vast, shallow Taihu lake near Suzhou city in eastern China’s Jiangsu Province. Taihu lake has suffered severe pollution and flooding in recent years, which has particularly affected a number of towns and the city of Wuxi that take their potable water from the lake. Consequently, the quality and amount of water entering the lake are of major concern, and the Central government has launched a number of projects to address these issues.

InfoWorks RS includes full solution modeling of open channels, floodplains, embankments and hydraulic structures. Rainfall-runoff simulation is available using both event based and conceptual hydrological methods. The Wangyu project involved storing river data in the InfoWorks RS database and automatically importing telemetry data, with the information generated from the data using RS2000, the key InfoWorks RS process.


EnlargeWater quality simulations for the river were run concurrently, based on the hydraulic simulation. Then the real-time monitoring decision support system was set up using FloodWorks combined with InfoWorks RS. The solution will undertake real-time monitoring at every observation station to obtain information on its waters and the status of any pollutants, forecasting quality and quantity and pollution levels based on the hydraulic and water quality models that have been created.

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