WetScape is an interactive computer-assisted decision support system that provides resource analysis capabilities to facilitate water resource, watershed management, and wetland planning decisions. Initial efforts to support these capabilities are incorporated into the Natural Resource Workstation (NRWS) developed by the Bureau of Reclamation, Technical Services Center and the Integrated Decision Support Group at Colorado State University (IDS, 1993). Development completed to date has focused on terrain-based analysis that can be applied to examining local or basin-wide landform characteristics. A modular approach is employed to provide convenient application of different types of resource analysis tools. The system framework is flexible to allow resource characteristics and management alternative to be examined based on readily available spatial data before proceeding with more detailed investigations or undertaking activities that could affect water quality, water use, and related natural resources. Part I of this report presents the project objective, project activities and results, a description of the essential WetScape system capabilities and functions, and Part II included the User Manual for the WetScape system. In addition to this document conference papers have been submitted, Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) help documentation was developed, a technical notes document was prepared with group specific details about the development of WetScape, and a short description of WetScape was prepared.
The primary purpose of this project is to develop improved analytical tools for wetlands and watershed management planning activities. WetScape is a surface-water terrain-based interactive computer-assisted decision support system that has been developed as part of the Western Wetlands and Riparian Habitat Initiative for the United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation.
The scope of the WetScape system is for identifying created and/or constructed freshwater wetlands in riverine or catchments situations that can be defined by terrain-based features. The system is not meant to be comprehensive for every type of wetland, but to specifically address wetlands that can be defined by terrain-based features such as riverine, prairie pothole, depressional, leveed, and floodplain wetlands. The first three wetland types (riverine, prairie pothole, and depressional) are specifically addressed in the Basin Wide Siting Module. The Projected Wetland Analysis module could currently address local siting of any of these wetland types in a general fashion. The WetScape 3.0 system framework is flexible and allows resource characteristics and management alternatives to be examined based on readily available spatial elevation data and could be used before proceeding with more detailed site-specific investigations or undertaking field activities that could affect water quality, water use, and related natural resources.
This project was undertaken as a cooperative effort between the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), Denver office, Land Suitability and Water Quality Group and the Integrated Decision Support Group (IDS Group) at Colorado State University (CSU), Fort Collins, Colorado USA. This project was sponsored by the Reclamation though the Program Analysis Office; Wetland and Riparian Habitat Initiative. Faculty, staff members, and graduate students from the IDS Group and the Department of Chemical and Bioresource Engineering Department of CSU served as the principle investigators for the specialized work undertaken for this project.
The WetScape project has produced a WetScape 3.0 interface with documentation on how to use it and training in related technology for Reclamation. A summary of the most current progress for five primary areas is listed here:
- Testthe WetScape 2.0 Interface and Refine the WetScape 3.0 interface. WetScape 3.0 can handle large data sets and can create scenarios as well as manipulate the data of existing scenarios. The capabilities of the interface to model the flooding of off-channel wetlands and to evaluate the impacts of wetland storage in a watershed have been improved.The user can now manipulate categories of GIS maps in order to optimize their use. The cell editor can now be used to paint cells continuously on the screen. The colors of raster map categories can now be modified. A filter box can be used to view a subset of maps during selection. The Interface can evaluate multiple water source seeds at the same time. The interface for using project/scenario/workspaces has been re-designed and improved.
- Improve the Stability of the WetScape 2.0 interface. Under this task an extensive testing of different combination of actions was undertaken and some debugging of the combinations that create problems have been corrected for WetScape 3.0.
- Apply WetScape 3.0 to Devils Lake area with Prairie Potholes. A dataset was developed for the Devils Lake area and standard datasets were developed for terrain-based features. The storage volume capabilities have been tested on an application to Devil's Lake basin.
- Document WetScape 3.0 and this phase of development. All the documentation listed has been developed and reviewed by Reclamation.
- Transfer Technology (train Reclamation personnel). The Reclamation personnel have been trained how to import maps into GRASS so that they can be used as part of WetScape 3.0 interface.
Techniques, algorithms and automation tools have been developed for the WetScape 3.0 Interface to assist the user in exploring and recording the response of the system to a particular set of input assumptions through a simulation environment. The tools developed at IDS group have been collected into the WetScape 3.0 decision support system (DSS) environment where the user can focus on the analysis to be conducted and not on the mastery of disparate technologies used to perform the computations. The integrated DSS environment permits the analyst to concentrate on the modeling and simulation and less on the execution and precision of the computer commands.
Since the beginning of the NRWS-WetScape project many of the goals and objectives for the system have evolved with changes in technology, availability of data, and wetland ecosystem science. The WetScape 3.0 interface reflects this evolving technology. For example, the user interface has the look and feel of other computer applications currently popular, i.e. mouse driven, menu systems, and icons have been developed.The current version of software is "beta-tested" and should go through an expanded testing phase with subsequent development before being released outside Reclamation.
4.1 Phase I (1993-1994)
The purpose of this phase of the WetScape research was to develop an analytical capability with which Reclamation can optimize watershed management for environmental resources, with emphasis on wetlands and their role in water quality improvement and in the improvement of wildlife habitat. The research relied heavily upon the development and application of functional modeling, Geographic Information Systems, Optimization techniques, and use data gathered from demonstration projects to verify and calibrate the different models, tools developed during this project. The WetScape 1.0 system was developed to compliment other efforts already underway within Reclamation. The major product will be a set of enhancement to a system already under development in Reclamation called the Natural Resource Workstation. This component was added to the NRWS framework and created the capabilities of evaluating wetlands and the impacts that they have on the water quality of a basin. The tools developed in phase are data driven and can be used to analyze different sites throughout Reclamation.
The benefits of this research phase were: (1) to provide a mechanism to allow the automated evaluation of the use of Wetlands, if applied to a number of locations in a basin. (2) to provide important input into setting overall goals and objectives for basin-wide water resource management (BMP) and the formulation of specific Land Management Plans (LMP's); (3) to provide the capability to evaluate the impact of placing certain types of wetlands in the habitat of certain types of migratory birds and waterfowl; (4) to constitute a mechanism for integrating environmental resources with other uses of reservoir lands and waters and assessing trade-offs; and (5) to provide a tool to simulate the effects of wetlands in improving water quality for different purposes based on the of results collected from different demonstration sites and the application of the results to different areas in a basin.
Project Tasks for 1993 were to:
- Develop the ability to evaluate the impact of BMP in a basin including wetlands.In the first phase of the project a set of tools were developed which allow the user to interactively manipulate the land use and include different BMP's in an area and compute the improvement in the amount of effluents from an area. The emphasis will be in using wetland as a BMP and modeling the location of the wetlands and the impacts.
- Develop the linkage between a Geographic Information System and the module to analyze the effect of wetlands as a BMP.The amount of area that would drain into a wetland can be determined by delineating the drainage basin above a certain point. In this phase of the project the capability for the user to select the location of the wetland will be incorporated and the system will compute the amount of area that would drain above that point. The system would then compute the loading based on the amount of area above the wetland location and the types of BMP assigned to the lands draining into the wetland.
Project Tasks for 1994 were to:
- Develop the capability to evaluate the impact of wetlands throughout a basin. In the first year of the project the capability for the user to select the location of a wetland was developed. In the second year, the capability to locate a set of wetlands in different parts of a basin and analyze the effect of all the wetlands in the system was developed theoretically.
- Develop the capability for continuous simulation. In this phase of the project the system was modified to allow the user to simulated a historical or stochastically generated time series of rainfall and land use patterns and the effects on wetlands. This capability allows the user to generate risk assessment capabilities with regards to the reliability to the wetlands to meet certain criteria, as well as provide inundation maps for each of the wetlands.
4.2 Phase II (1995)
The purpose of this phase of the research was to further enhance the ongoing development of analytical capabilities with which Reclamation can analyze watershed management for environmental resources, with emphasis on wetlands and their role in water quality improvement and in the improvement of wildlife habitat. This research was an extension to research that has previously been completed which includes the development and application of functional modeling, Geographic Information Systems, and use data gathered from demonstration projects. The major product was a set of enhancements to the NRWS system already under development in Reclamation. The new components will be added to the NRWS framework and will enhance the capabilities that the system has of evaluating wetlands and the impacts they have on the water quality of a basin. The tools developed as part of the modification to this project will be data driven and can be used to analyze different sites throughout Reclamation.
The benefits of this research to Reclamation were: (1) to improve the mechanisms to handle large data sets in a consistent manner allowing the user to create scenarios as well as manipulate the data of the scenarios to develop new datasets or export the data for use by other external programs. (2) and to improve the capabilities of the WetScape 2.0 system to model the flooding of wetlands and allow the user the ability to evaluate the impacts of wetland storage in a watershed.
Project Tasks for 1995 were to:
- Develop the capability to assemble simulations from predefined models and scenarios. In this phase, the system was modified to allow the user to define models, combine scenarios visually, populate all miscellaneous data required, and generate the appropriate data sets for the simulation. The data describing any given simulation will be managed using a hierarchal data management scheme. Filters were added to the system to allow simulation output to be processed and visualized by other public domain software. These modifications allow the user to efficiently populate and manage the required data, provide flexibility in developing simulations, and enhance the post-processing capabilities of the system.
- Develop, enhance, and test the capabilities of the system to interface with hydrologic and hydraulic models.Allow the user to output information generated by the system in a format that can be used by standard hydrologic and hydraulic models. This capability was developed to interface with the Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC) models (HEC1, HEC2, and HEC5) as well as one or two additional models with similar capabilities.
- Add the capability for the flooding algorithm to use a surface rather than a single elevation. The elevation surface is defined by the user. It can be generated by a plane with a slope and angle or by providing elevation at certain points and interpolating a surface between them. A case study was used to test and apply the capabilities of the system to evaluate upstream watershed storage.
4.3 Phase III (1996)
The purpose of Phase III of this research has been to test and refine the analytical capabilities of WetScape Version 2.0 and to produce a new version (WetScape Version 3.0) with improved functionality and current documentation. In addition to this development, training for Reclamation personnel in related specialized technology was important component in the technical transfer. Reclamation will use WetScape Version 3.0 to analyze watershed management for environmental resources, with emphasis on wetlands and their role in water quality improvement and the improvement of wildlife habitat. The following were the objectives for this phase of the WetScape project:
- Testing of the WetScape 2.0 Interface and Refining the WetScape
- Refine the mechanisms WetScape 2.0 provides to handle large data sets, to create scenarios, and manipulate the data of existing scenarios.
- Improve the capabilities of the WetScape 2.0 to model the flooding of off-channel wetlands and to evaluate the impacts of wetland storage in a watershed.
- Modify WetScape 2.0 to manipulate categories of GIS maps in order to optimize their use.
- Test the functionality of the WetScape 2.0 and document all the wetland and watershed models for WetScape 3.0.
- Modify the cell editor in WetScape 2.0 to paint cells continuously on the screen when editing cover types.
- Create the ability to modify colors for raster map category values for WetScape 3.0.
- Include the ability to only display a subset of maps for selection by using a filter on the map selection box for WetScape 3.0.
- Enhance WetScape 2.0 single seed placement capability to evaluate multiple water source seeds at the same time for WetScape 3.0.
- Enhance WetScape 2.0 data management, project/scenario/workspace interface operations to allow the user to create a new projects and scenarios interface for WetScape 3.0.
- Improve the Stability of the WetScape 2.0 interface
- Testing and debugging the overall WetScape 2.0 interface. Under this task an extensive testing of different combination of actions was undertaken and some debugging of the combinations that create problems have been corrected for WetScape 3.0.
- Identify, modify and/or document WetScape 2.0 computational limits such as when the flood region is too large.
- Application of WetScape 3.0 to an Devils Lake area with Prairie
- Develop a dataset for the Devils Lake area and standard datasets for terrain-based features.
- Test the storage volume capabilities on an application to Devil's Lake basin.
- Documentation for WetScape 3.0 in this phase of development
- Project Description - this is a short semi-technical description of the project. The length of this document is to be around 6 to 7 pages.
- User Manual --This provides a description of WetScape Interface capabilities and general user information. It will be incorporated into the on-line documentation.
- Technical Notes - this is a technical document that discusses the design and implementation of the software. This document because of its nature contains both current and old material.
- Project Report - (i.e. this document) a final project report that will be jointly developed with Reclamation personnel.
- HTML - Provide a link from the help button on the screen to on-line HTML based documentation. The HTML documents will mainly be developed by Reclamation personnel.
- Transfer Technology (train Reclamation personnel)
- Map development - train Reclamation personnel on how to import maps into GRASS so that they can be used as part of WetScape 3.0 interface.
- Train Reclamation personnel on how to use and modify the WetScape 3.0 Spatial Analysis Model Interfaces (SAMIs) written in shell scripts. Also, provide them with documentation and some training on the most commonly used GRASS commands.
- Train Reclamation personnel on how to use the WetScape 3.0 interface.
- Train Reclamation personnel on the hardware requirements (disk and computer) for using WetScape 3.0.