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June 29, 2015

CI-WATER research advances hydrologic science & engineering

With support from the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NSF-EPSCoR), CI-WATER researchers have found a new approach that may revolutionize large-scale water modeling methods.


The discovery is of an alternative to a partial differential equation (PDE) that was published more than eighty years ago by soil physicist Lorenzo Adolph Richards.


“Previous solutions to the Richards equation are computationally expensive to run, unreliable and suffer from convergence problems,” says Dr. Fred Ogden, a CI-WATER Principle Investigator and lead author of the paper reporting the discovery. “We were looking for a faster, more reliable approach that conserves mass and is continuous.”


It seems that Fred and his collaborators have found it. An eight-month test to compare the predictive capabilities of the Richards’ PDE to the new “Finite-Water Content” solution in loam soil resulted in a minor variance, and the latter solution appears to be robust, complete and more computationally economical—important when running data-massive simulations such as CI-WATER’s high-resolution, large-scale ADHydro model.


Details of the work were published in “A new general 1-D vadose zone flow solution method,” recently appearing in Water Resources Research, a publication of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). ADHydro, and other CI-WATER products, will be featured during the CUAHSI 3rd Annual Hydroinfomatics Conference next month.



February 9, 2015

CI-WATER PRODUCT RELEASE: Tethys platform now available for use

CI-WATER is pleased to announce the achievement of a major project milestone with the public release of the Tethys Platform for water resources web application development. Designed to make it easier for developers to turn models and data into interactive apps, Tethys is a flexible, accessible solution that eases the learning curve needed to create the tools water resource analysts need.


Tethys has already been used by CI-WATER modelers to create the Parleys Creek Management Tool described in the CI-WATER newsfeed article “Project Update: Collaboration leads to integrated water management tools” (Sept. 27, 2014). Soon, CI-WATER researchers at the University of Wyoming will be collaborating with Brigham Young University’s Tethys development group to visualize their output data sets.


Lead developer Nathan Swain says, “That will present a fun challenge because they have really huge data sets.”


Even more exciting, the platform is receiving attention from the broader water science community. Nathan’s group is currently preparing for National Flood Interoperability Experiment (NFIE) at which numerous graduate students in hydroinformatics will gather for what Nathan calls “kind of a hack-a-thon.”


“The goal of our participation in NFIE is to promote Tethys as a tool for other participants and apply it to a relevant, real-world problem,” Nathan says.


To access Tethys, visit Note that users can subscribe to receive email updates.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1135482.


January 23, 2015

iUTAH will be featured nationally on SciTech Now

The SciTech Now series being broadcast on UEN-TV, captures the latest breakthroughs in science, technology and innovation. This Monday, January 26th at 8:30pm, SciTech Now’s will feature “iUTAH: Science for Utah’s Water Future” the statewide EPSCoR project to study water use throughout the state. Visit the UEN-TV web site to find your translator station. If you’re unable to watch Monday evening, you can view past episodes on after the program has aired. These programs are also broken down into segments for educational use. The iUTAH video was also selected to air nationally with other public UEN TV partners.


January 14, 2015

CI-WATER PI Fred Ogden honored by the American Society of Civil Engineers

Fred Ogden, who is a CI-Water principal investigator and leads the High-Resolution Multi-Physical Watershed Modeling Team, has been selected for the 2015 Arid Lands Hydraulic Engineering Award from the Environmental and Water Resources Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).  Fred is also the University of Wyoming's Cline Distinguished Chair of Engineering, Environment and Natural Resources.



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