Cyberinfrastructure and Web Apps for Managing and Disseminating the National Water Model


data management, cyberinfrastructure, hydrologic modeling, data visualization, flooding, decisionsupport systems


Hydrologic modeling can be used to provide warnings before, and to support operations during and after floods. Recent technological advances have increased our ability to create hydrologic models over large areas. In the United States (U.S.), a new National Water Model (NWM) that generates hydrologic variables at a national scale was released in August 2016. This model represents a substantial step forward in our ability to predict hydrologic events in a consistent fashion across the entire U.S. Nevertheless, for these hydrologic results to be effectively communicated, they need to be put in context and be presented in a way that is straightforward and facilitates management‐related decisions. The large amounts of data produced by the NWM present one of the major challenges to fulfill this goal. We created a cyberinfrastructure to store NWM results, “accessibility” web applications to retrieve NWM results, and a REST API to access NWM results programmatically. To demonstrate the utility of this cyberinfrastructure, we created additional web apps that illustrate how to use our REST API and communicate hydrologic forecasts with the aid of dynamic flood maps. This work offers a starting point for the development of a more comprehensive toolset to validate the NWM while also improving the ability to access and visualize NWM forecasts, and develop additional national‐scale‐derived products such as flood maps.

Original Publication Citation

Souffront Alcantara, Michael, C Kesler, M Stealey, J Nelson, D Ames, N Jones, 2017. Cyberinfrastructure and Web Apps for Managing and Disseminating the National Water Model,Journal of the American Water Resources Association,JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association54, no. 4 (2018): 859-871.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of the American Water Resources Association




Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Civil and Environmental Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor