Edith A. Zagona, Research Professor, Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, and Director, Center for Advanced Decision Support for Water and Environmental Systems, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
Reliable fresh water supplies, energy and environmental sustainability are three of the most pressing challenges facing humanity and are the primary objectives of river system planning and management. Maximizing overall river system benefits is complicated by competing objectives such as hydropower, agricultural production, flood risks and environmental protection, and by the need to make plans robust across a range of uncertain future hydrologic and demand conditions. Managing across state and national borders may add further challenges. Advanced modeling and analysis tools can be used to explore the benefits and tradeoffs of a range of management plans and serve as the basis for decision-making for both specific operational decisions and for long term infrastructure and policy decisions. This paper and presentation describes the RiverWare suite of models and analysis tools that have been applied to the planning and management of a variety of river systems with different hydrologic conditions and operational objectives. RiverWare is a unique modeling platform that supports the expression of detailed and flexible logic for operational criteria and performance metrics and automates the simulation and analysis of ensembles of hydrologic scenarios. Analysis tools include the RiverSMART utility for creating and managing large studies that analyze many alternatives. As examples, we present several models that demonstrate a range of types of applications. RiverWare is developed, maintained and distributed by the University of Colorado Center for Advanced Decision Support for Water and Environmental Systems (CADSWES).