The FREEWAT platform (v.0.4) is a large plugin integrated into the QGIS GIS desktop (http://qgis.org). FREEWAT includes several modules for dealing with water management issues with particular attention to groundwater. Groundwater numerical models (mainly from the MODFLOW USGS family) constitute the basis of the plugin (which also comprises modules for solute transport and density-dependent flow in aquifers). The complete list of so far integrated modules is given below:

  • Observations Analysis Tools (OAT) for time series analysis;
  • Tools for the analysis, interpretation and visualization of hydrogeological data (akvaGIS);
  • Tools for the analysis of groundwater quality issues (akvaGIS);
  • Groundwater flow modelling (based on MODFLOW-2005);
  • Calibration, uncertainty and sensitivity analysis (based on UCODE_2014);
  • Solute transport in the unsaturated zone (based on MT3D-USGS and USB);
  • Solute transport in the saturated zone (based on MT3DMS);
  • Density-dependent groundwater flow (based on SEAWAT);
  • Management of water in agriculture (based on FARM process);
  • Water management and planning (based on MODFLOW-OWHM).

To download the software and all the related documentation please go to http://www.freewat.eu/download-information

The following diagram shows how these different modules are interconnected, taking as reference a standard modeling procedure.

 

FREEWAT architecture is based on the integration of different software tools (the so called FREEWAT pillars): SQLITE relational database manager, external (free and open source) codes like MODFLOW and MODFLOW-related programs as well as codes specifically developed. The way of interconnecting such tools is done via Python programming language, with extensive use of the Python library FloPy. A schematic representation of FREEWAT pillars and their interconnection is showed in the following figure.

 

The main features of FREEWAT capabilities are illustrated in the table below, detailing the relationship between the components of the platform and the needs/priorities for ICT tools in water management as suggested by the stakeholders interviewed during an initial survey.