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Tags Current Affairs

Accurate assessment of water supply and demand

Date: 22 July 2020 Tags: Climate Change

Issue

In order to aid in the accurate assessment of water supply and the demands of both people and the environment, researchers have developed a large-scale hydrological and water resources model – the Community Water Model (CWatM).

 

Background

The growing global population and continued economic development will likely require a significant increase in water demand, especially in developing regions. At the same time, climate change is already having global, regional, and local impacts on water availability. 

 

Details

  • The model can simulate the movement, distribution, and management of water both globally and regionally to evaluate water availability in terms of water demand and environmental needs.

  • It includes an accounting of how future water demand will evolve in response to socioeconomic change and how water availability will be influenced by climate change.

  • The integrated modelling framework considers water demand from agriculture, domestic needs, energy, industry, and the environment.

  • The Community Water Model has a modular structure that is open source and uses state-of-the-art data storage protocols as input and output data while being community-driven to promote the team’s work among the wider water community.

  • It is flexible enough to change between scales, to be integrated with water quality and the hydro-economy, and to be linked with other models.

  • Because the modelling framework is general, it can also be adapted to address new interdisciplinary research questions, which means that it opens the door to many potential applications to explore connections between the nexus aspects of energy, land, and water.

  • The main novelty of the model is that it combines existing good practice in various scientific communities beyond hydrology itself, rather than provide entirely new concepts for modelling hydrological and socioeconomic processes. 

  • The model is customizable to the needs of different users with varying levels of programming skills. This will support and enable different stakeholder groups and scientific communities beyond hydrology and of varying capacities to engage with a hydrological model in support of their investigations.

  • The Community Water Model represents one of the new key elements of the Water Program to assess water supply, water demand, and environmental needs at the global and regional levels.

  • It is the first step towards developing an integrated modelling framework, that can be used to explore the economic trade-offs between different water management options, encompassing both water supply infrastructure and demand management.

  • The Community Water Model will continue to be developed to include more features such as a routing scheme related to reservoirs and canals to better simulate water availability in both agricultural and urban contexts, and the capacity to explore aspects related to groundwater management.

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