March 24, 2009 By Elaine Rundle
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is using risk simulation to evaluate and demonstrate how different water management policies affect the water supply, environment and other factors.
In 2007 the DWR and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation developed CalLite, a simulation model for the water management of California's Central Valley. It simulates reservoir operations, operations of the California State Water Project and the Central Valley Project, water-delivery decisions, ecosystems and the California Central Valley's hydrology.
In just five minutes, CalLite simulates water conditions in the Central Valley over a span of 82 years. The user can change the program to demonstrate water management actions, like utilizing off-stream storage reservoirs, enacting groundwater management programs and adding new conveyance facilities.
Stakeholders and the public can download CalLite from the DWR's Web site. The front-facing program allows stakeholders to see how decisions affect the Central Valley. Environmentalists, contractors and regulatory boards use the program.
The DWR used GoldSim, a graphical, dynamic simulation program, to develop CalLite. Nazrul Islam, senior engineer of the DWR, said the program's main benefit is that it shows visually how a decision might impact water resources.
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