An integrated modelling framework for regulated river systems

Wendy D Walsh, Jai Vaze, Dushmanta Dutta, David W. Rassam, I Jolly, Peter J Wallbrink, Geoff M Podger, Matthew G Bethune, M Hardy, Jin Teng, Julien Lerat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Citations (Scopus)


Management of regulated water systems has become increasingly complex due to rapid socio-economic growth and environmental changes in river basins over recent decades. This paper introduces the Source Integrated Modelling System (IMS), and describes the individual modelling components and how they are integrated within it. It also describes the methods employed for tracking and assessment of uncertainties, as well as presenting outcomes of two case study applications.Traditionally, the mathematical tools for water resources planning and management were generally designed for sectoral applications with, for example, groundwater being modelled separately from surface water. With the increasing complexity of water resources management in the 21st century those tools are becoming outmoded. Water management organisations are increasingly looking for new generation tools that allow integration across domains to assist their decision making processes for short-term operations and long-term planning; not only to meet current needs, but those of the future as well.In response to the need for an integrated tool in the water industry in Australia, the eWater Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) has developed a new generation software package called the Source IMS. The Source IMS is an integrated modelling environment containing algorithms and approaches that allow defensible predictions of water flow and constituents from catchment sources to river outlets at the sea. It is designed and developed to provide a transparent, robust and repeatable approach to underpin a wide range of water planning and management purposes. It can be used to develop water sharing plans and underpin daily river operations, as well as be used for assessments on water quantity and quality due to changes in: i) land-use and climate; ii) demands (irrigation, urban, ecological); iii) infrastructure, such as weirs and reservoirs; iv) management rules that might be associated with these; and v) the impacts of all of the above on various ecological indices. The Source IMS integrates the existing knowledge and modelling capabilities used by different state and federal water agencies across Australia and has additional functionality required for the river system models that will underpin the next round of water sharing plans in the country. It is built in a flexible modelling environment to allow stakeholders to incorporate new scientific knowledge and modelling methods as they evolve, and is designed as a generic tool suitable for use across different jurisdictions. Due to its structure, the platform can be extended/customised for use in other countries and basins, particularly where there are boundary issues. © 2012.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-102
Number of pages22
JournalEnvironmental Modelling and Software
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'An integrated modelling framework for regulated river systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this