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Compendium on methods and tools to evaluate impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change

Interactive River and Aquifer Simulation (IRAS)

This tool is a PC based surface water resource simulation tool, based on water balance accounting principles that can test alternative sets of conditions of both supply and demand.

The river system is represented by a network of nodes and links, with the nodes representing aquifers, gauges, consumption sites, lakes, reservoirs, wetlands, confluences, and diversions. Links are river reaches or water transfers to the nodes. The model can simulate up to 10 independent or interdependent water quality factors at a submonthly timestep. Through data interfacing, IRAS can link to various external modules such as rainfall-runoff and to economic and ecological impact prediction programs.

Appropriate Use Used in long-range planning to evaluate the performance or impacts of alternative designs and operating policies of regional water resource systems, ranging from simple to complex systems. It has more significant water quality modeling ability than WEAP, but does not include a detailed demand modeling environment. Strengths include modeling capability of groundwater, natural aquatic systems and water quality. Includes wetland analysis.
Scope All locations; surface water systems; national or site-specific.
Key Output System performance in meeting demand requirements; flows, storage volumes, energy, and water quality throughout system.
Key Input Configuration of system and component capacities and operating policies.
Water demand: Demand requirements at various nodes.
Water supply: Historical inflows at various time steps, evaporation and seepage losses from system, aquifer recharge rates, wetland characteristics.
Water quality: Waste loads.
Scenarios: Reservoir operating rule modifications, pollution changes and reduction goals.
Ease of Use Relatively easy to use. Detailed analysis requires significant data.
Training Required Moderate training/experience in resource modeling and demand analysis required for effective use.
Training Available Contact RPA for details regarding available training (see contacts).
Computer Requirements IBM-compatible PC with Windows 95 or higher. Recommended Pentium processor with 24MB RAM, 100MB disk space, and color monitor.
Documentation Detailed users guide is available from RPA in Contacts.

Has been applied to evaluate designs and policies of river-aquifer systems in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Contacts for Framework, Documentation, Technical Assistance

Marshall Taylor

Resources Planning Associates, Inc., 231 Langmuir Bldg., 95 Brown Road, Ithaca, NY 14850 USA; Tel: +1.607.257.4305; Fax: +1.607.257.4306.

Cost Relatively low cost to obtain model documentation and software.

Brandão, C. and R. Rodrigues. 2000. Hydrological simulation of the international catchment of Guadiana River. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Part B: Hydrology, Oceans and Atmosphere 25(3):329-339.

CH2M Hill, 1993. New Jersey Statewide Water Supply Master Plan, Task 4 Report: Preliminary Development of Water Supply Initiatives. CH2M Hill, Parsippany, NJ, USA.

Loucks, D.P., P.N. French and M.R. Taylor. 1995. IRAS — Interactive River-Aquifer Simulation: Program Description and Operation. Resources Planning Associates, Incorporated, Ithaca, NY, USA.