Nexus and MODFLOW: love at first sight

StellaSpark Nexus, a leading digital twin platform, now has a new capability to run MODFLOW groundwater models, through a new plugin developed by Moisture Matters in collaboration with Royal Eijkelkamp. The plugin allows near-realtime simulation of groundwater heads by allowing users to upload their existing MODFLOW schematizations and perform the simulations on the Nexus compute cluster, optionally using any dynamic input such as weather forecasts, water level predictions or groundwater measurements from operational data sources connected to Nexus. This development brings exciting new possibilities for users who require advanced water resource modeling capabilities and do not want to go through the hassle of setting up their own computation infrastructure or who are tired of manually updating simulation inputs every once in a while.

Sri Lanka Water Resources Board as first user

The Water Resources Board of Sri Lanka is the first organization to successfully use the new capability, simulating past, current and forecasted groundwater heads in 3 aquifers on a daily basis for near-realtime situational awareness of the entire Malwathu Oya river basin, a 3200 km2 river basin in the north of Sri Lanka. In this setup, Nexus automatically harvests weather observations and river water level measurements from the Telecontrolnet telemetry system of Royal Eijkelkamp and combines this with additional data sources, such as land use maps and weather forecast. The MODFLOW model then uses this as input for an up-to-date simulation and is executed on the Nexus computation cluster, after which the results are directly accessible through the online 3D webviewer or downloadable through the secured web API. Simulation results are automatically extracted for all observation points, to enable interactively comparing of simulated vs. observed heads. The Board’s ability to seamlessly incorporate these simulations into their workflow helps them make better-informed decisions about allocation of water resources.

Model ownership

Interestingly, the MODFLOW plugin leaves ownership of the actual model schematizations completely with the client. Users use their existing MODFLOW model schematizations (packages) and edit them locally through their preferred tools, such as ModelMuse (USGS), PmWin or FloPy. Any revised model can be uploaded to Nexus, after which it is automatically used for future simulations.

Empowering water professionals

StellaSpark and Moisture Matters are technology partners, committed to helping water resource professionals make the most of the latest modeling technologies. The integration of MODFLOW models is just one example of this commitment. We look forward to working with other organizations to bring the benefits of digital twin technology to the water resource management field.

MODFLOW in the cloud