FOSSFlood: Free and Open Source Software for Harnessing the Potential of the National Water Model

Authors: James Coll*,
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: national water model, flooding, emergency management, FOSS
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


When the National Water Model went online in 2016, for the first time in the modern computational era the nation went from a lumped basin parameterization to a fully distributed, coupled hydrologic/hydraulic representation of the water cycle. Not only does this implementation represent an almost 21,000-fold increase in our predictive potential of river discharge, its modular nature ensures that future efforts to improve individual aspects of the model are immediately integrated into the lifecycle of a hydrologic event. However, the methods of accessing these efforts for those not intimately familiar with the model or data science conventions are limited, and the means of consuming these within the emergency management realm are currently nonexistent. To rectify these shortcomings, a graphical user interface built on Free and Open Source tools is demonstrated whose ideal users include first responders and decision makers. These intuitive and accessible properties enable virtually anyone with a modern computer to access, interact with, and make decisions based on, National Water Model forecasts – effectively bridging the gap between federal scale efforts to guide and inform, and the local scales where actions are made.

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