GIBSI: an integrated modelling system for watershed management – sample applications and current developments
Abstract. Hydrological and pollutant fate models have long been developed for research purposes. Today, they find an application in integrated watershed management, as decision support systems (DSS). GIBSI is such a DSS designed to assist stakeholders in watershed management. It includes a watershed database coupled to a GIS and accessible through a user-friendly interface, as well as modelling tools that simulate, on a daily time step, hydrological processes such as evapotranspiration, runoff, soil erosion, agricultural pollutant transport and surface water quality. Therefore, GIBSI can be used to assess a priori the effect of management scenarios (reservoirs, land use, waste water effluents, diffuse sources of pollution that is agricultural pollution) on surface hydrology and water quality. For illustration purposes, this paper presents several management-oriented applications using GIBSI on the 6680 km2 Chaudière River watershed, located near Quebec City (Canada). They include impact assessments of: (i) municipal clean water program; (ii) agricultural nutrient management scenarios; (iii) past and future land use changes, as well as (iv) determination of achievable performance standards of pesticides management practices. Current and future developments of GIBSI are also presented as these will extend current uses of this tool and make it useable and applicable by stakeholders on other watersheds. Finally, the conclusion emphasizes some of the challenges that remain for a better use of DSS in integrated watershed management.