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About RiverSMART
RiverSMART—the RiverWare Study Manager and Research Tool—is an extensive set of integrated computational models and analysis tools for developing resilient management plans for river basins with deeply uncertain future conditions. Using the flexible graphical user interface centered on RiverWare, users can create, execute, and archive large and complex planning studies that explore and compare multiple scenarios. Uncertain hydrologic supplies are represented by ensembles that represent possible future hydrologic variabilities; and multiple ensembles can provide a range of scenarios, each produced with a different projection model and representing a different possible future variability.
The RiverSMART application provides a graphical tool to create combinations of future hydrologic supply ensembles, demand projections, and infrastructure and operating policy alternatives, with each combination of these defining a scenario. Different RiverWare model files can represent infrastructure alternatives, and different RiverWare rule sets can represent alternative operating policies. The policies may include signposts that point to approaching vulnerabilities that trigger dynamically executing changes in operations or other options to mitigate or avoid states of unacceptable performance.
Studies may consider many scenarios, each a combination of ensembles of inputs and other system characteristics; thus, full execution of a study sometimes leads to hundreds of thousands of simulations. RiverSMART sets up and manages the execution of all the simulations in parallel on multi-core hardware or cloud computing resources.
Results are typically model variable outputs and indicators of system performance. These can be output in many formats, including RiverWare native RDF, Microsoft Excel, CSV, and netCDF, and they can be post-processed using various statistical and visualization tools, including the Graphical Policy Analysis Tool, Tableau, or user-supplied R scripts. At the conclusion of a study, RiverSMART can serve as an archiving structure for saving all aspects of the entire study, including the input data, model files, configurations, policy sets, scenario selections, and results, making the study reproducible in the future.
RiverSMART was designed, developed, and is maintained by the Center for Advanced Decision Support for Water and Environmental Systems (CADSWES) at the University of Colorado Boulder to address the needs of complex modeling studies, such as the Basin Studies conducted by the Bureau of Reclamation, to explore options for meeting projected imbalances of future supplies and demands due to changing climate and water uses. The initial development was funded through the Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSMART Grants to Develop Climate Analysis Tools and was first used by the Colorado River Basin Study; several features are directly influenced by needs identified by that study.
Revised: 08/02/2021