location:HomeLatest NewsLatest News

Prof. David Maidment Presented the National Water Model of the United States

2016-10-27
On October 19, 2016, Prof. David Maidment, a world renowned hydrologist from the University of Texas-Austin, visited SUSTech School of Environment at the invitation of Dean Chunmiao Zheng. He presented the Nanshan Distinguished Lecture on Environment No. 31. Over 40 faculty and students came to hear his lecture with great anticipation. 
 
 
Lecture Hall
 
Prof. Maidment is the Hussein M. Alharthy Centennial Chair in Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He specializes in surface water hydrology, and in particular in the application of geographic information systems to hydrology. In his presentation, Prof. Maidment discussed how the idea of a national water model for the United States came about and described the technical details of the model that has been in operation since the summer.  
 
 
Prof. David Maidment at lecture
 
Prof. Maidment introduced the National Water Model of the United States developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its partners as a new forecasting tool to simulate how water moves throughout the nation’s rivers and streams, paving the way for the biggest improvement in flood forecasting the country has ever seen. The National Water Model uses data from more than 8,000 U.S. Geological Survey gauges to simulate conditions for 2.7 million locations in the contiguous United States. The model generates hourly forecasts for the entire river network. The model also improves NOAA’s ability to meet the needs of its stakeholders--such as emergency managers, reservoir operators, first responders, recreationists, farmers, barge operators, and ecosystem and floodplain managers--with more accurate, detailed, frequent and expanded water information. 
 
Prof. Maidment discussed the possibility of collaborating with Chinese Scientists on a national water model of China.  He hoped to work closely with the faculty of SUSTech for this effort. Prof. Chunmiao Zheng’s group has indeed been interested in developing a national water model of China since 2009, when he presented a talk entitled “Preliminary ideas for a national water model of China” at a groundwater symposium at China University of Geosciences-Beijing.  
 
After the lecture, Prof. Maidment toured the newly built SUSTech High-Performance Computing and Visualization Facility, accompanied by Prof. Chunmiao Zheng. Such a facility would be a pre-requite for any national-scale hydrological modeling with the size of the U.S. or China.
 
 
 
An undergraduate student asking questions
 
 
About the Speaker
 
David R. Maidment is the Hussein M. Alharthy Centennial Chair in Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin where he has been on the faculty since 1981. He received his Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Engineering with First Class Honors from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, and his MS and PhD degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Texas, he was a research scientist at the Ministry of Works and Development in New Zealand, and at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna, Austria, and he was also a Visiting Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University.
 
Dr. Maidment is a specialist in surface water hydrology, and in particular in the application of geographic information systems to hydrology. In 2016, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering “For development of geographic information systems applied to hydrologic processes”.