Basin Futures: supporting water resource planning

July 31st, 2019

Over the past three years, the Distributed Sensing Systems Group has been leading the technical platform development of Basin Futures project, in partnership with CSIRO’s Land and Water division.

The Challenge

Water scarcity affects every continent, and two-thirds of the world’s population currently live in areas that lack water security. Water scarcity is manifested through physical shortages, failure of institutions or lack of infrastructure.

Climate change is expected to amplify the complex relationship between development and water demands. Shortages in water impact on people’s health, livelihoods, ecosystems and the ability to produce food. It also impacts a nation’s ability to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.

How to Address Water Security Challenges?

To alleviate water security challenges, initial information on water resources is needed. This includes knowing how much water is available, where it is distributed and how it will change under scenarios of development and climate change.

Data and models are often used to address these questions. However, data is typically distributed, difficult to access and process and models require significant expense, time to develop, and advanced capability and capacity to use.

As a result, it can be difficult and expensive to support the basic information needs to overcome water scarcity.

Our Solution: Basin Futures

To answer some of the first-order questions needed to combat water security challenges, a new tool, Basin Futures has been developed.

Basin Futures is a web application that is an entry-level modelling tool aiming to support rapid and exploratory basin planning globally. 

Image caption: System design overview.

Making use of the Senaps platform, also developed by the Distributed Sensing Systems Group, the system is a cloud-based tool that brings together high-performance computing and large-scale global data sets to make data analysis accessible and efficient. The system is designed to bring together global and local datasets to empower decision-makers to understand their opportunities and constraints in managing their water resources.

Basin Futures offers users results in an efficient and timely manner.

Related publications 

For more information contact: Peter Taylor or Mac Coombe.


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