Coupling Water Management and Land Surface Models

To date, rigorous modelling efforts of water management and hydrology have typically been in mutual isolation. This project attempts to integrate the two in a fully coupled modelling platform, where details of water management/regulation (e.g., reservoir operation, irrigation, other diversions, and water allocation) are simulated within a land surface-hydrology model. To this end, we are coupling the MESH (Modélisation Environmentale Communautaire – Surface and Hydrology) modelling system, which embeds the Canadian Land Surface Scheme (CLASS), with the MODSIM-DSS water management modelling tool. MODSIM-DSS is a generalized river basin Decision Support System designed for basin-scale simulation of various components of water management with any level of detail. MODSIM-DSS provides the capability to manage water resources systems at large scales from a systems perspective, where the interactions between elements (e.g., different reservoirs across the system) are considered. The integration of MODSIM-DSS into MESH will enable us to faithfully represent human interventions in land surface processes and their change in response to changes in external factors such as changing climate and economy. At a higher level, this may allow modelling interactions and feedback loops between hydrology and humans, leading to improved understanding and prediction of the future’s water resources.

A schematic of the coupling framework for MESH-MODSIM

A screenshot of MODSIM-DSS for the headwaters of the Bow River Basin