Sponsor: Water Research Commission, DWAF and others
Leader: Prof DA Hughes
Staff: Mr Forsyth
Duration: April 2005 - Open ended

This 'project' refers to various initiatives related to the development of the SPATSIM software, applications of the software and training in its use for various purposes. SPATSIM stands for 'Spatial and time series information modelling' and is software framework for managing water resource related information and running water resource simulation models via a spatial interface. There are two main WRC projects involved; the
update of the Water Resources of South Africa (WR2005 - led by a consortium of consulting engineering firms) and the development of a Hydrological Decision Support Framework (HDSF - led by the School of Bioresources
Engineering and Environmental Hydrology, UKZN). The WR2005 project is using SPATSIM as the database and model running platform for the future national hydrology and water resource database. The IWR have been involved through the development of new model interfaces, improving the surface - ground water interaction modelling in a revised version of the Pitman monthly rainfall-runoff model and populating the final database with information. This project is due for completion during early 2008 after which the various products will be distributed to users throughout South Africa.

The HDSF project represents an opportunity to re-visit some of the design concepts of SPATSIM and involve other groups in its continued development. One of the objectives of the overall HDSF project is to be able to run the well known ACRU daily hydrology model from the system, while the main involvement of the IWR team is to re-write parts of the SPATSIM system using more up-to-date computer programming techniques. The underlying database has been re-designed and many of the basic functions (spatial interface; data access, import and export; etc.) of the system have been re-coded. The existing SPATSIM system supports access to over 20 different hydrological or water resource simulation models and data analysis procedures. The link between them and the main SPATSIM framework is largely generic. The first of the models has already been successfully
converted to the new version and it is therefore a straightforward (but time consuming) process to convert all the other models. It is expected that a working version of the new system will be available early in 2008
and will be gradually introduced to replace the early version soon afterwards.

Prof Hughes and Mr Forsyth ran a SPATSIM training course in Pretoria during November 2007. This was designed for consultants working on various ecological Reserve determination projects for DWAF and the focus of the
training was on the various Reserve determination tools included with the SPATSIM system. A further two courses are planned for early 2008.

The Institute continues to service requests for the software from various parts of the world; many of these are related to the regional drought analysis tools that were included with the support of IWMI (International Water Management Institute) during 2005. Apart from external users in South Africa and elsewhere, the hydrology postgraduate students within the IWR make use of the software extensively and also contribute to its further testing and development.

Last Modified: Fri, 14 Aug 2015 10:47:14 SAST