Accelerating watershed science through a community-driven software ecosystem



The water resources that are critically important for energy production, human use, agriculture, and ecosystem health are under increasing pressure from growing demand, land-use change, and Earth system change. Those stresses on our water supply are largely transmitted through the Nation’s watersheds.

The Subsurface and Biogeochemical Research (SBR) program within the U.S. Department of Energy is advancing a robust, predictive understanding of how watersheds function and respond to perturbations as integrated hydrobiogeochemical systems. By tightly integrating observations, experiments, and modeling, SBR advances systems-level understanding of how watersheds function and translates that understanding into advanced science-based models of watershed systems.

IDEAS-Watersheds is designed to

  • Enhance and broaden the impact of the existing SBR Science Focus Areas (SFAs).
  • Address a scientific challenge common across multiple SBR projects—improving the representations of biogeochemical processes and their hydrological controls in the headwaters and stream/river corridors of watersheds.
  • Advance an ecosystem of interacting software tools and workflows that can be shared across SBR projects.
  • Train a cohort of junior computational scientists and provide them with the necessary skills to nurture the emerging ecosystem of interoperable modeling software as part of interdisciplinary project teams.

The outcomes of the IDEAS-Watersheds project will significantly enhance our capabilities and scientific productivity in computational watershed science, thus advancing SBR toward its overarching goal of predictive understanding of how watershed hydrobiogeochemical processes function.

IDEAS-Watershed builds on the foundational work in IDEAS-Classic, supported through SBR and ASCR.