Distributed Hydrologic Models
In contrast to traditional modeling approaches, integrated hydrologic models simulate all of the important watershed processes using a comprehensive physically-based approach. These models provide a means of leveraging point-based streamflow and groundwater measurements at monitoring sites into a comprehensive understanding of the spatial and temporal variations in hydrologic conditions.
Once developed for a given watershed these models serve as powerful management tools for evaluating projects proposing to use water resources and for planning and optimizing habitat restoration efforts. These models are also well-suited for evaluating the effects of climate change. Through linkages to global and regional climate model predictions, distributed hydrologic models can help us understand how changes in temperature and precipitation regimes will impact all aspects of the hydrologic cycle and empower us to develop successful adaptation strategies.
Conceptual diagram shwoing the framework of a distributed hydrologic model courtesy of DHI, Inc.