Center for Research in Water Resources at the University of Texas at Austin

Published on 26-Apr-2012

Validated on 16 Dec 2013

"Combining complex system modeling developed by IBM with our research into river physics, we’ve developed new ways to look at an old problem." - Ben Hodges, PhD, Associate professor, University of Texas at Austin

Customer:
Center for Research in Water Resources at the University of Texas at Austin

Industry:
Education

Deployment country:
United States

Solution:
IBM Research, Smarter Planet

Smarter Planet:
Smarter Education, Smarter Water

IBM Business Partner:
Esri

Overview

The Center for Research in Water Resources at the University of Texas at Austin campus is a research component of the university’s civil engineering department. The center conducts advanced research, education, design and planning in water resources and waste management, primarily related to Texas but also involving national and international waterways and customers.

Business need:
The water research team at University of Texas at Austin is improving upon traditional water behavior models to help a Texas region manage water levels for a river with thousands of branches. The researchers sought to marry the latest weather prediction technologies with new simulation tools. Enlisting the help of IBM Research, the university embarked on a mission to create a modeling program that could identify the true source of flooding within a large river system and provide a realistic picture of the effects of precipitation—or drought or pollution.

Solution:
This new flood prediction technology can simulate thousands of river branches at a time under various weather scenarios.The solution couples analytics software with geospatial data and advanced weather simulation models—including IBM eep Thunder technology—to help municipalities and disaster response teams pinpoint potential flood areas sooner. The solution can be used as a decision-support tool within a larger emergency management program such as the IBM Intelligent Operations Center platform, where its real-time data can be integrated into dashboard reporting and asset management modules.

Benefits:
Can provide up to several days advance warning of a flood, allowing more time for disaster prevention and preparedness, because it can simulate thousands of branches at a time Allows managers to evaluate multiple “what-if” scenarios to create better plans for handling both droughts and water surplus Makes real-time data available to outside systems, researchers and agencies—in addition to emergency management teams—to help solve pollution, irrigation and erosion problems

Case Study

The Center for Research in Water Resources at the University of Texas at Austin campus is a research component of the university’s civil engineering department. The center conducts advanced research, education, design and planning in water resources and waste management, primarily related to Texas but also involving national and international waterways and customers.

The Opportunity
Water research in the United States is an integral part of the country’s overall framework for protecting its citizens, tangible property and natural resources from threats. The water research team at University of Texas at Austin is improving upon traditional water behavior models to help a Texas region manage water levels for a river with thousands of branches. The researchers sought to marry the latest weather prediction technologies with new simulation tools. Enlisting the help of IBM Research, the university embarked on a mission to create a modeling program that could identify the true source of flooding within a large river system and provide a realistic picture of the effects of precipitation—or drought or pollution.

What Makes It Smarter
This new flood prediction technology can simulate tens of thousands of river branches at a time under various weather scenarios and is capable of scaling even further to predict the behavior of millions of branches simultaneously. The solution couples analytics software with geospatial data and advanced weather simulation models—including IBM Deep Thunder technology—to help municipalities and disaster response teams pinpoint potential flood areas sooner and create more comprehensive and effective emergency plans. The solution can have even greater value as a decision-support tool for officials when used within a larger emergency management program such as the IBM Intelligent Operations Center platform, where its real-time data can be integrated into dashboard reporting and asset management modules for truly collaborative event response.

Real Business Results
· Can provide up to several days advance warning of a flood, allowing more time for disaster prevention and preparedness, because it can simulate thousands of branches at a time
· Allows managers to evaluate multiple “what-if” scenarios to create better plans for handling both droughts and water surplus
· Makes real-time data available to outside systems, researchers and agencies—in addition to emergency management teams—to help solve pollution, irrigation and erosion problems

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
Realistic Simulation

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States April 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com and POWER7 Systems are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.