30 Sep 2022
30 Sep 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Dynamically Coupling System Dynamics and SWAT+ Models using Tinamït: Applications of Modular Tools for Coupled Human-Water Systems Models

Joel Z. Harms1, Julien J. Malard1,2, Jan F. Adamowski1, Ashutosh Sharma3, and Albert Nkwasa4 Joel Z. Harms et al.
  • 1Department of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, H9X 3V9, Canada
  • 2Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), UMR G-EAU, Université de Montpellier, Montpellier, 34000, France
  • 3Department of Hydrology, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Uttarakhand, 247667, India
  • 4Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering Department, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), 1050 Brussel, Belgium

Abstract. Participatory water resources management requires modeling techniques that are accurate and flexible, yet stakeholder-friendly. While different modeling frameworks offer advantages and disadvantages, System Dynamics (SD) models have seen sustained use as a stakeholder-friendly approach for water resources modelling. In contrast, physically-based models are more appropriate to model the hydrological components of coupled human-water systems. Proposed as a way to combine the relative strengths of both modelling paradigms, model coupling allows researchers to build participatory SD models with stakeholders, while delegating the hydrological components of the overall model to an external hydrological model. Recently developed to facilitate model coupling, the Tinamït Python package presents an extensible outward-facing Application Programming Interface (API). It allows for the development of extensions (wrappers) that expand compatibility with different physically-based models. However, no watershed hydrological model has yet been connected to this API. In the present study, a socket and JavaScript Object Notation-based communication protocol was developed with the goal of facilitating the coupling of models written in languages such as FORTRAN. This novel protocol served to develop a Tinamït-compatible wrapper for the hydrological model SWAT+, allowing it to be coupled to human-water SD models. The novel coupling protocol was then applied to a case study of Tanzania’s Usa Basin. This approach provides the modeler with the benefits of both physically-based and SD models, thereby allowing the detection of potential far-reaching effects of policy decisions, within a system that remains flexible and easily adaptable to other watersheds.

Joel Z. Harms et al.

Status: open (until 31 Dec 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2022-306', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 Oct 2022 reply

Joel Z. Harms et al.

Model code and software

joelz575/tinamit_idm: tinamit-idm Malard, Julien J.; Harms, Joel Z.

joelz575/swatplus: None Harms, Joel Z.; Malard, Julien J.

joelz575/swatplus-tinamit-coupling: SWAT+/SD Coupling Case-Study Harms, Joel Z.; Malard, Julien J.

Joel Z. Harms et al.


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Short summary
To facilitate the meaningful participation of stakeholders in water management, model choice is crucial. Here it is shown how System Dynamics models (SDM), which are very visual and stakeholder-friendly, may be automatically combined with physically based hydrological models that may be more appropriate for modelling the water processes of a human-water system. This allows the building of participatory SDMs with stakeholders, delegating hydrological components to an external hydrological model.