Water Modelling has certainly come a long way in the last thirty years. There have been a number of significant drivers for change, from ever increasing customer expectations and legislative changes to catastrophic events such as long-duration droughts and terrorism and more recently understanding and managing the effects of climate change on our infrastructure assets and communities. During this period there have been remarkable advances in technology and computing power which have exponentially changed our expectations and ability to collect, process and analyse and present vast amounts of data with powerful visual tools.
In parallel with these advances in technology we are seeing the evolution of a new generation of more “tech-savvy” operators. As a result water modelling is migrating from the planning domain into the “real-time” operational environment. We have also seen a transition from “Specialist Modellers” to “Engineer Modellers” as the tools have become more widely available and user–friendly. As models move into the control room environment we are seeing the emergence of a new type of modeller, the “Operator Modeller” and potentially “Field Operator Modellers”.
In this paper we will look at the journey so far and discuss what the future may hold for water modelling and the new generation of modellers.