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Rationale and Context


Water managers and researchers spend a considerable time and effort to build software to communicate their results each time they develop a new water resources model. They also spend a large time to analyze and synthesize water management data into models.


Most of existing models use the traditional architecture which incorporate three integrated and tight coupled components i) graphical user interface (GUI), data management system ii), and iii) the model engine of algorithms (Harou et al., 2010).

There is an increasing interest to decouple the three components to allow the reuses of data and user interface across different models. WaM-DaM aims to provide a standard for the database component so other models can re-use the same data.


The early ideas for a solution like WaMDaM came out from the work on HydraPlatform by UC Davis PhD Graduates between 2008 to 2010. HydraPlatform as an Open-Source Software Platform for Water Resource Management Models focused on providing a generic database, user interface, and data exporters to models. Hydra in 2014-2016 improved HydroPlatform into a web-service. OpenAgua uses Hydra into web-based application for modeling water systems for water resources planning and management.

Systems water management data lack a standardized method to organize and communicate its diverse and disparate data. Developing a persistent data model for water management data is an important step to advance how we communicate such vital data across disciplines. So the C-WATER team at Utah State University took the task to develop WaMDaM.

The development of WaMDaM has been part of an ambitious research project to develop cyberinfrastructure to advance the science of hydrology and water resources management. The project is called “Cyber-Infrastructure to Advance High Performance Water Resource Modelling” CI-WATER. The CI-WATER Project was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through grants EPS-1135482 and EPS-1135483. The project comprises large interdisciplinary team of Utah and Wyoming researchers and concluded in October 2016

The CI-WATER project included researchers from Brigham Young University, the University of Utah, Utah State University, and the University of Wyoming. The project has received a $6 million, three-year award from the NSF to develop a better understanding of the interconnectivity of natural and human water resources systems – a critical environmental sustainability problem facing both Western states. CI-WATER aims also to simulate and study how factors such as population growth, shifting land uses and climate variability will impact water storage and availability in the Intermountain West. This award is made under the NSF Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), which supports states' efforts to enhance research, science and mathematics education, and workforce development.

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The timing, availability of funds, expertise, and passion for WaMDaM development were incredible by all means. Along the way of WaMDaM development, there has been a real interest from national and international scientists and practitioners in standardizing the way we communicate systems water management data.

We were fortunate to discuss the development of WaMDaM with these research groups and agencies listed below. WaMDaM and these projects complement each other and there is a big room for real future collaboration. We hope that our discussions with them continue so we can achieve our common goal of having a standard to communicate systems water management data.

# Project Affiliation
1 Hydra Platform: web-services to linking water resource network models, share data in an open data management platform University of Manchester, United Kingdom
2 HOBBES: a bottom up approach to improve and organize the data for water modeling efforts in California University of California, Davis
3 ADHydro: A Large-scale High-resolution Multi-physics Distributed Water Resources Model for Water Resources Simulations University of Wyoming
4 WEAP: Water Evaluation And Planning System Stockholm Environment Institute
5 RiverWare: a river system modeling tool Center for Advanced Decision Support for Water and Environmental Systems (CADSWES). University of Colorado at Boulder
6 HEC-ResSim: The Reservoir System Simulation software U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Institute for Water Resources, Hydrologic Engineering Center
7 IWRM: Integrated Water Resources Management The Urban Water Group University of Utah
8 WaDE:The Water Data Exchange Program Western States Water Council
9 Managing data for the state river basins water budgets models Utah Division of Water Resources
10 HydroShare:collaborative environment for sharing hydrologic data and models aimed at giving hydrologists the technology infrastructure they need to address critical issues related to water quantity, quality, accessibility, and management. Utah State University