Interoperable Modelling

Designing an open source modelling system to assess productivity potential and water quality contaminant dynamics at farm and catchment scales

Project Details Ngā taipitopito

Project Status:
Challenge funding:
Research duration:
February 2017 – April 2020

Collaborators Ngā haumi

AgResearch | DairyNZ | Environment Southland | GNS Science | Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research | Ministry for the Environment | NIWA | Overseer Ltd | Plant & Food Research | Scion | Victoria University Of Wellington

You are here: Home / Projects / ­ Interoperable Modelling

What are we doing?E aha ana mātou?

Transitioning New Zealand’s agricultural landscape to a more diverse and resilient mosaic of land uses requires understanding how land management and water quality interact, and how targeted management can achieve our shared values. This requires our ability to model these interactions using open-source interoperable models feeding off low- or no-cost, readily available and high-quality data.

Interoperable Modelling research is developing a national modelling system that assesses the environmental, production and economic implications of land use and land use change, at farm and catchment scales. The goal is to create a trusted tool that helps individuals and communities achieve agreed land and water quality outcomes.

Researchers have identified an agreed initial set of models, data sources, and visualisation components, and are working with a software platform for integrating and accessing the components. Our programme is co-funded by stakeholders to provide a platform where the best models can ‘talk’ to each another.

How can the research be used? Ka pēhea e whai take ai te rangahau?

  • The Interoperable Modelling science team is working to implement a functioning and interoperable set of models. The platform is being built on the best available data to provide much faster, cheaper analyses and visualisation experiences. Outputs will enable the measurement of national scale change (eg land use) and regulatory limits.
  • There are 10 parties actively involved with the development of the platform through contributing data, sharing code, creating solutions and co-funding. A comprehensive report on interoperable modelling was prepared collaboratively with input from technical experts from 14 organisations.
  • An initial set of models was implemented in the open-source DeltaShell framework and trialled in Aparima catchment in Southland.
  • The initial set of models will focus on contaminant generation and transport, water resources and optimisation, in static and dynamic catchment models.

Research team Te hunga i whai wāhi mai

Research Lead
Sandy Elliott
Project Manager
Neale Hudson
Juan Monge
Market Economics
Tom Evans
Jing Yang
Richard Muirhead
Christophe Thiange
Mike Toews
GNS Science
Ronaldo Vibart
Bethanna Jackson
Victoria University of Wellington
Rogerio Cichota
Plant and Food Research
Alex Herzig
Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research
Christian Zammit
Harry Yoswara
Daniel Lagrava Sandoval
Sharleen Yalden
Channa Rajanayaka
Annette Semadeni-Davies
Stephen McDonald
Utkur Djanibekov
Manaaki Whenua

Academic outputs He whakaputanga ngaio


Land-Water Interoperable Models

This report summarisises the work of the Interoperable Modelling Systems for Integrated Land and Water Management programme. The programme aimed to develop an interoperable modelling…
View Model
Technical Report

Interoperable Modelling – spatial economic optimisation

In this report we describe the application of the spatial modelling and optimisation framework LUMASS as a spatial optimisation tool in the Interoperable Modelling Project.…
View Technical Report
Technical Report

Interoperable Models for Land and Water Framework selection and preliminary design

This report presents a proposal for the development of an interoperable modelling system suitable for integrated spatial assessment the economic, production and environmental implications of…
View Technical Report

Future Landscapes Projects

Shutterstock 1031980621New Zealand, South Island, pine forest near Wakefield in the north of the south island.

Visualising Forestry Harvesting Cycles

Future risk planning through the visualisation of forestry harvesting cycles
View Project
Kids & Co Photos / Laura Bolt / TrueStock

Matarau: Empowering Māori Landowners in Land Use Decisions

Providing accessible and useful data to support Māori landowners to prioritise land-use options
View Project
Next Generation Systems Illo

Next Generation Systems

Identifying next generation primary production systems and opportunities to change the face of farming
View Project
This project has produced
Information Type Icon Journal Article OutlineInformation Type Icon Presentation OutlineInformation Type Icon Technical Reports Outline
Measuring Denitrification In Groundwater

Measuring Denitrification

The development of a method for measuring denitrification is a first for New Zealand, providing vital data for understanding natural denitrification processes
View Project
This project has produced
Information Type Icon Infographic OutlineInformation Type Icon Method OutlineInformation Type Icon Presentation OutlineInformation Type Icon Summary OutlineInformation Type Icon Technical Reports Outline

Phosphorus Best Practice

Investigating whether current fertiliser and effluent guidelines and policy are strong enough to prevent phosphorus loss
View Project

Healthy Estuaries

Assessing the interactions between loadings of different contaminants from freshwaters on the health and functioning of estuaries
View Project
Scroll to Top