IDEAS-Watersheds (Phase 2): Accelerating Watershed Science Through a Community-Driven Software Ecosystem


J. David Moulton1* (, Scott Painter2, Sergi Molins3, Xingyuan Chen4, Kate Maher5, Ethan Coon2, Reed M. Maxwell6, Laura E. Condon7, Steve Smith8


1Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM; 2Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN; 3Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA; 4Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA; 5Stanford University, Stanford, CA; 6Princeton University, Princeton, NJ; 7University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; 8Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA



Through its watershed-focused science focus area (SFA) projects, the ESS program is tightly integrating observations, experiments, and modeling to advance a systems-level understanding of watershed function and to translate that understanding into advanced science-based watershed system models. To enhance and broaden the impact of existing SFAs, the IDEAS-Watersheds project strives to increase watershed modeling capacity by increasing software development productivity—a key aspect of overall scientific productivity—through an agile approach to creating a sustainable, reliable software ecosystem with interoperable components.

The unique structure of the IDEAS-Watersheds (Phase 2) project is organized around four research activities and four shared infrastructure activities. To ensure integration of the research activities with the SFAs and to facilitate training of early career researchers, a co-funding model was used with shared deliverables to establish partnerships. The partnerships increasingly embrace a multiscale perspective of the whole watershed and include the Watershed Function SFA (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; LBNL, poster led by S. Molins), the Watershed Dynamics and Evolution SFA (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, poster led by Phong Le), and the River Corridor SFA (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, poster led by Xingyuan Chen). In addition, a targeted research activity on floodplain hydro-biogechemistry with the Floodplain SFA (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory) will advance fine-scale reactive transport modeling capabilities (see LBNL poster). Each research activity is focused through the design of concrete use cases that both advance scientific understanding as well as contribute transferable capabilities to the software ecosystem.

Shared infrastructure activities provide foundational support for research activities as well as training and community outreach. The Software Stewards activity will ensure the sustainability of the software ecosystem as a community resource and make it easier to use by coordinating software design, development, maintenance, testing, and more accessible deployments. A new Land Model Interface Activity will assess the complex issues around interoperability of land models with integrated hydrology models. An Integrated Hydrology Simulation Infrastructure Activity will continue the development of a national hydrology infrastructure that can accelerate regional simulations and improve modeling workflows across modeling platforms. Finally, a Training, Community Building, and Outreach Activity will continue building a community around the software ecosystem.