BACKGROUNDER SERIES ON SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS: Cross-border collaboration would enhance water resources research and practice in North America (released in April 2017)
Note to Reader:
In April 2017, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC and the Urban Watershed Research Institute (UWRI) signed an agreement to collaborate regarding reciprocal benefits and joint actions related to water resources research and practice in North America.
The focal point for collaboration is the newly formed and US-based Center for Infrastructure Modeling and Management (ncimm.org).
Under an agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency, ncimm.org has been created to provide sustainable research, development and outreach for water infrastructure modeling, initially focusing on two foremost modelling tools – known around the world by the acronyms EPA SWMM and EPANET.
Cross-border collaboration opens the door to sharing and learning
The Partnership develops online tools (including the Water Balance Model) and delivers capacity-building programs on behalf of government. The Partnership has pioneered a whole-system, water balance approach to watershed assessment.
The Partnership understanding of hydrology and watershed management issues in the Pacific Northwest provides some intriguing insights into new diagnostics, targets and interpretation needs for watersheds, and the tools ncimm.org develops will very likely need to embrace those ideas.
British Columbia’s Water Balance Model is unique in the way it has delivered technology for water resource practitioners on-line dating back to 2003. Cross-border collaboration through ncimm.org also opens new doors for the Partnership. The Water Balance Model’s QUALHYMO calculation engine is now linkable with SWMM.
Linking the two would fill a need by adding to the capabilities of SWMM. It would enable setting of performance targets for a whole-system, water balance approach to restoring and protecting watershed health.
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