A Dynamic Information Framework (DIF): A Portal for the Changing Biogeochemistry of Aquatic Systems

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 4:15 PM
Jeffrey E Richey, University of Washington Seattle Campus, Seattle, WA, United States and Erick C M Fernandes, World Bank, Washington, DC, United States
The ability of societies to adapt to climate and landuse change in aquatic systems is functionally and practically expressed by how regional stakeholders are able to address complex management issues. These targets represent a very complex set of intersecting issues of scale, cross-sector science and technology, education, politics, and economics. Implications transcend individual projects and ministries. An immediate challenge is to incorporate the realities of changing environmental conditions in these sectors into the policies and projects of the Ministries nominally responsible. Ideally this would be done on the basis of the absolute best understanding of the issues involved, and done in a way that optimizes a multi-stakeholder return. Central to a response is "actionable information-" the synthesis and "bringing to life" of the key information that integrates the end-to-end knowledge required to provide the high-level decision support to make the most informed decisions. But, in practice, the information necessary and even perspectives are virtually absent, in much of especially the developing world. To meet this challenge, we have been developing a Dynamic Information Framework (DIF), primarily through collaborations with the World Bank in Asia, Africa, and Brazil. The DIF is, essentially a decision support structure, built around "earth system" models. The environment is built on progressive information layers that are fed through hydrological and geospatial landscape models to produce outputs that address specific science questions related to water resources management of the region. Information layers from diverse sources are assembled, according to the principles of how the landscape is organized, and computer models are used to bring the information "to life." A fundamental aspect to a DIF is not only the convergence of multi-sector information, but how that information can be conveyed, in the most compelling, and visual, manner. Deployment of the environment in the Cloud facilitates access for stakeholders.