Riverstrahler, SENEQUE and SENECAM: modelling tools for water resources management from regional to local scales

Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsRuelland, D, Billen, G
Conference Name6th International Conference of EWRA
Date Published07/09/2007
Conference LocationFrance, Menton
Mots-clésdata combining, GIS, modeling software, prospective scenario, spatial scaling, surface water model, water resources management

In the scope of a large research program (PIREN-Seine) devoted to the understanding of the biogeochemical functioning of the Seine river system in relation with the needs of water resources management, different models have been developed with the aim of establishing the link between water quality and anthropogenic activities (agriculture, domestic and industrial) in the watershed. Each of these models rely on the same basic principles but are adapted to different geographic scales.

The starting point of this construction is the Riverstrahler approach, which uses a simplified characterisation of the drainage network of large regional basins, together with a refined representation of instream microbiological processes (RIVE), in order to derive, among other results, an overall estimation of nutrient fluxes at the outlet. This approach was particularly useful, for instance, to evaluate the effect of general measures concerning urban wastewater treatment on coastal marine eutrophication processes.

As a second step, the coupling of the Riverstrahler model with a GIS interface into a generic software (SENEQUE) allowed to considerably enhance the functionalities of the model: (i) by unifying databases, GIS and model in a unique system; (ii) by offering tools to modulate the geographical representation of the drainage network at the resolution required by the specific problem under investigation; (iii) by providing powerful implements for analyzing and simulating changes in water quality. This software has been conceived in order to be easily transferable to water resources managers. Two examples of application to practical management issues, at two different scales, will be presented.

Finally, the limits of this tool when applied to practical problems related to landscape management at the scale of small watersheds, have led to the development of a complementary software (SENECAM), particularly adapted to approach water quality problems linked to erosion or cattle waste management, for which a very high spatial resolution is required.