First steps to an operational decision support system for South Florida Conference Paper uri icon


  • One of five water management districts in Florida, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is responsible for regional flood control, water supply and water quality protection as well as ecosystem restoration in the Southern portion of Florida. Operationally, this responsibility translates to real-time control of 168 water control systems (WCS). Analogous to watersheds in most respects, the water control systems differ in that they have control structures to regulate flow between the systems and out of SFWMD boundaries. Efficient control of these structures ensures that the multiple water resources objectives are met. SFWMD is building an operational decision support system (ODSS) for control of its water-control systems. A critical source of information for the ODSS is a water-budget-based real-time assessment of system state, which is implemented as the WCS Tracker application. Created as an extension to ESRI's ArcMap software plus an enterprise database, the WCS Tracker application receives as input, time series of gage and radar-based rainfall, gage-based evapo-transpiration, and flow and stage measurement of the WCS control structures. By way of various interpolation schemes, this input is re-analyzed into a regular time interval and used in a water budget equation to evaluate the storage of water in the water control system. This storage term is an indicator of oncoming overland flow and thus provides advanced warning to aid in control structure decisions. The WCS Tracker application applies several concepts including water budget theory and uncertainty and error analysis of both the measured and calculated water budget terms. Additionally, the application implements several new technological ideas for broker-driven data supply, hydrologically-derived GIS-based data structures and their attendant relationships, time series management, and GIS-based application development. 2007 ASCE.

published proceedings

  • Restoring Our Natural Habitat - Proceedings of the 2007 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress

author list (cited authors)

  • Stewart, K., Mierau, R., Hampson, J., Bourne, S., Brumbelow, K., & Maidment, D.

complete list of authors

  • Stewart, K||Mierau, R||Hampson, J||Bourne, S||Brumbelow, K||Maidment, D

publication date

  • December 2007