Component Functions of the Integrated Tool
The accompanying graphic illustrates the juxtaposition of the five distinct components that comprise the Water Balance Model powered by QUALHYMO. From an outside view, the functions of each component can be described in simple terms as follows:
- The User Interface (going in): This allows the user to communicate with the computer. This is where the data go in and the results come out. This component is composed of a series of screens that allow data entry, and a series of standard results output pages.
- Data and Some Calculations: The data that are entered are then processed. This component encompasses calculations of time of concentration (Tc), lumping of catchment data, calculation of source control operation based on user selection of type and physical description ( infiltration rates, discharge rates, storativity, etc); selection of discharges for the exceedance comparison; and most importantly, creation of the data file that QUALHYMO needs.
- QUALHYMO Calculation Engine: Next, the engine does the hydrologic and routing calculations at the site, development or watershed level; and provides the summary of discharges for flow magnitude, volumes and exceedance.
- Calculation Results: This component performs the function of extracting the results from the QUALHYMO model runs and sorts them for comparison of the various scenarios for a project. It also does the calculation of the stream power and potential erosion. While this may in future be built into QUALHYMO, it is now done by the Water Balance Model.
- Reporting and Charting: After the calculation and extraction processes are completed, this portion of the system takes all of the numerical results and provides the graphical and tabular results summaries for the project and the scenario comparisons.
- The User Interface (coming out): Finally, the interface displays the charts and tables to the user and allows them to be extracted for reporting.
The substantial benefits to the user in applying the Water Balance Model powered by QUALHYMO are three-fold: first, source control types are pre-defined; secondly, there is the ability to quickly create the QUALHYMO input files; and thirdly, the standardized output allows easy and quick review by regulatory agencies.
While someone could take the QUALHYMO engine and in some fashion replicate the calculations that the Water Balance Model component allows, there would be considerably more time and effort spent in applying QUALHYMO as a stand-alone package. For that situation, the QUALHYMO user would need to manually undertake all the ancillary data handling and calculations that would need to be completed in order to obtain the same information that only then would enable project scenario comparisons.