Water security is defined as a combination of water for achieving our goals as a society, and an acceptable level of water-related risks. Hydrologic modeling can be used to predict streamflow and aid in the decision-making process with the goal of attaining water security. Developed countries usually have their own hydrologic models; however, developing countries often lack hydrologic models due to factors such as the maintenance, computational costs, and technical capacity needed to run models. A global streamflow prediction system (GSPS) would help decrease vulnerabilities in developing countries and fill gaps in areas where no local models exist by providing extensive results that can be filtered for specific locations. The development of a GSPS has been deemed a grand challenge of the hydrologic community. To this end, many scientists and engineers have started to develop large-scale systems to an acceptable degree of success. Renowned models like the Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS), the US National Water Model (NWM), and NASA's Land Assimilation System (LDAS) are proof that our ability to model large areas has improved remarkably. Even so, during this evolution the hydrologic community has started to realize that having a large-scale forecasting system does not make it immediately useful. New hydroinformatic challenges have surfaced that prevent these models from reaching their full potential. I have divided these challenges in four main categories: big data, data communication, adoption, and validation. I present a description of the background leading to the development of a GSPS including existing models, and the components needed to create an operational system. A case study with the NWM is also presented where I address the big data and data communication challenges by developing cyberinfrastructure and accessibility tools such as web applications and services. Finally, I used the GloFAS-RAPID model to create a forecasting system covering Africa, North America, South America, and South Asia using a service-oriented approach that includes the development of web applications, and services for providing improved data accessibility, and helping address adoption and validation challenges. I have developed customized services in collaboration with countries that include Argentina, Bangladesh, Colombia, Peru, Nepal, and the Dominican Republic. I also conducted validation tests to ensure that results are acceptable. Overall, a model-agnostic approach to operationalize a GSPS and provide meaningful results at the local level is provided with the potential to allow decision makers to focus on solving some of the most pressing water-related issues we face as a society.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Hydrologic Modeling, Cyberinfrastructure, Data Visualization, Hydroinformatics