Lynker Contributions to the Next Generation National Water Model

Jordan Laser, Zach Wills, and Nels Frazier
April 13, 2023

Within the United States, we face a plethora of complex water issues that each involve unique physical environments with legal and economic consequences. In 2011 and in response to Nashville Floods of 2010, the Integrated Water Resources Science and Services Project (IWRSS) was created to address these multi-dimensional hydrologic issues. Since then, several tools such as numerical models (e.g., National Water Model) and databases have been built to supply researchers and other information consumers with hydrologic data and forecasting. However, the diverse nature of the hydrologic problem space imposes requirements on each of these tools that make interoperability difficult (i.e., languages, model conventions, resolution, location, etc.).

To address this problem, the Next Generation National Water Model (Nextgen NWM) aims to streamline the communication that allows for interoperability and as a result, makes accessing hydrologic data and modeling more efficient and generates utility for scientists and hydrologic data consumers. The Nextgen NWM is not a model itself, but rather a user-friendly framework that manages the various models and data on the back-end.

Lynker is developing the Nextgen NWM alongside the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Water Prediction and the Alabama Water Institute. To ensure the quality and value of this product, the development team implements rigorous software development practices such as Test Driven Development and Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery. Due to the diverse resources of the potential users of the Nextgen NWM, the system is built to run in the cloud or locally in potentially heterogeneous computing architectures. In short, the NextGen NWM will soon be powering hydrologic model forecasts from the Office of Water Prediction for the entire United States. Check out the following links to learn more about the Nextgen project.

National Weather Model Streamflow Forecast (Image credit: NOAA OWP)