Articles | Volume 373
12 May 2016
 | 12 May 2016

A flexible and efficient multi-model framework in support of water management

Vincent Wolfs, Quan Tran Quoc, and Patrick Willems

Abstract. Flexible, fast and accurate water quantity models are essential tools in support of water management. Adjustable levels of model detail and the ability to handle varying spatial and temporal resolutions are requisite model characteristics to ensure that such models can be employed efficiently in various applications. This paper uses a newly developed flexible modelling framework that aims to generate such models. The framework incorporates several approaches to model catchment hydrology, rivers and floodplains, and the urban drainage system by lumping processes on different levels. To illustrate this framework, a case study of integrated hydrological-hydraulic modelling is elaborated for the Grote Nete catchment in Belgium. Three conceptual rainfall-runoff models (NAM, PDM and VHM) were implemented in a generalized model structure, allowing flexibility in the spatial resolution by means of an innovative disaggregation/aggregation procedure. They were linked to conceptual hydraulic models of the rivers in the catchment, which were developed by means of an advanced model structure identification and calibration procedure. The conceptual models manage to emulate the simulation results of a detailed full hydrodynamic model accurately. The models configured using the approaches of this framework are well-suited for many applications in water management due to their very short calculation time, interfacing possibilities and adjustable level of detail.

Short summary
Water management is constantly evolving. Trends, such as population growth, urbanization and climate change, pose new challenges to water management. We developed a new and flexible modelling approach to generate very fast models of catchment hydrology, rivers and sewer systems that can be tailored to numerous applications in water management. To illustrate the developed framework, a case study of integrated hydrological-hydraulic modelling for the Grote Nete catchment in Belgium is elaborated.