- About Us
Working closely with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin), we are developing a real-time system for water modeling and management using advanced cyberinfrastructure, data integration and geospatial visualization, and numerical modeling. The state of Texas suffered a severe drought in 2011 that cost the state $7.62 billion in agricultural losses (crops and livestock). Devastating situations such as this could potentially be avoided with better water modeling and management strategies that incorporate state of the art simulation and digital data integration. The goal of the project is to prototype a near-real-time decision support system for river modeling and management in Texas that can serve as a national and international model to promote more sustainable and resilient water systems. The system uses National Weather Service current and predicted precipitation data as input to the Noah-MP Land Surface model, which forecasts runoff, soil moisture, evapotranspiration, and water table levels given land surface features. These results are then used by a river model called RAPID, along with an error model currently under development at UT-Austin, to forecast stream flows in the rivers. Model forecasts are visualized as a Web application for TCEQ decision makers, who issue water diversion (withdrawal) permits and any needed drought restrictions; permit holders; and reservoir operation managers. Users will be able to adjust model parameters to predict the impacts of alternative curtailment scenarios or weather forecasts. A real-time optimization system under development will help TCEQ to identify optimal curtailment strategies to minimize impacts on permit holders and protect health and safety.