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Flooding of the Tonle Sap, a tributary of the Mekong River in Cambodia

The Mekong River Commission (MRC), an inter-governmental agency that works with the governments of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam, has used our software for over 10 years to inform decision makers on the likely impacts of development scenarios.

An important initiative within the MRC is the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) project which is helping to ensure effective management and equitable use of water and related resources in the Mekong River Basin.

Basin modelling forms an important tool used to support IWRM and between 2001 and 2004 a major basin modelling system was developed for the Lower Mekong. The system uses broad scale hydrological modelling for upstream catchments based on the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and Integrated Quantity and Quality Model (IQQM).

Downstream of Kratie (Cambodia) the Mekong is very flat, especially in the lower reaches which include the Mekong Delta and the vast Tonle Sap Lake. Due to the very mild slopes and the complicated flow mechanisms, it was essential that hydrodynamic modelling was used to model the lower third of the river.

After an extensive evaluation of modelling options, our 1D solvers were selected as the most appropriate modelling tools and 1D hydraulic and salinity models were developed and validated. The model has over 5,000 nodes.

The MRC set up a specialist modelling team. We trained the team in the use of our software and the hydrological and water resource analysis tools that form the MRC Modelling Toolbox. The development of this team has been a key factor in the continued use of the model over the last 10 years.

In addition to the use of the modelling system by the MRC central modelling team, the four member countries (Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos) also have modelling staff who apply the system to their local area. Also, the MRC Flood Management and Mitigation Programme has used the Flood Modeller 1D solver for its flood forecasting applications.

The ease with which it has been possible to integrate our solvers with other software has been a key feature in its successful use in the Mekong. The MRC Modelling Toolbox provides a dedicated user interface to the full range of data management, scenario analysis, hydrological analysis, water use simulation, hydraulics, flood mapping, water quality and impact analysis tools.

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