A breakthrough in modeling software that assists managers of precious water resources to "find" more water in existing water systems and to best balance competing demands for water usage was awarded a patent, according to the developer, HydroLogics, Inc., formerly Water Resources Management, Inc. HydroLogics uses the software in providing consulting services to water resource agencies, water purveyors and other clients around the world and has been a key factor in resolving major conflicts over water-resource use on local, state and national levels.
The patented software routine forms the heart of HydroLogics' OCL or Operations Control Language, and enables users to frame weighted operating objectives in a way that parallels intelligent human behavior but is capable of dealing the with the millions of combinations of conditions that can drive the decision-making process in the management of water resources and related systems. When combined with HydroLogics' OASIS software for modeling water systems, it forms a powerful tool that allows unprecedented flexibility in the simulation of water resources systems, benefiting both operational decision-making and planning for the future. (OASIS is an acronym for Operation and Simulation of Integrated Systems.)
"The advance in the language [OCL] enables people to think more clearly about goals they are attempting to set for a system," said Dr. Daniel P. Sheer, president and founder of HydroLogics and developer of OCL. "The patent was awarded because the OCL language advances the ability of water resources simulation models to assist in multi-objective analysis, which is required where so many objectives need to be met."
Reflecting the experience of more than two decades of solving water resource-related problems around the world, OASIS with OCL can potentially save water purveyors billions of dollars in expensive public works projects such as dams or the rerouting of inland waterways by enabling the seemingly conflicting goals of such groups as environmentalists, agriculture, power facilities and cities to be met. Working with such groups, the consultants at HydroLogics build a model of the water system using OASIS with OCL, then run the system using different policies to determine a number of superior, or non-inferior, alternative solutions.
"If we had used these tools when we did the Yellow River Water Resources Economic Modeling for the Ministry of Water Resources of the People's Republic of China, for example," Sheer added, "we could have completed the project in half the time and gotten a much better mix of benefits. Plus we wouldn't have had to teach the Chinese how to program in Fortran and use compilers, as the syntax for OCL can be learned in minutes."
Using OASIS software and its predecessors, HydroLogics has compiled a long track record of success in projects in the Delaware River Basin, North Carolina, Florida, California, and elsewhere. Including costs avoided and increased power generated, savings attributed to the software already have amounted to billions of dollars.
Source: HydroLogics, Inc.