Submitted as: model description paper
01 Sep 2023
Submitted as: model description paper |  | 01 Sep 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Reservoir Assessment Tool Version 3.0: A Scalable and User-Friendly Software Platform to Mobilize the Global Water Management Community

Sanchit Minocha, Faisal Hossain, Pritam Das, Sarath Suresh, Shahzaib Khan, George Darkwah, Hyongki Lee, Stefano Galelli, Konstantinos Andreadis, and Perry Oddo

Abstract. In the modern world, dams and the artificial reservoirs behind them serve the increasing demand for water across diverse needs such as agriculture, energy production, and drinking water. As dams continue to proliferate, monitoring water availability influenced by reservoir operations is now of paramount importance. The Reservoir Assessment Tool (RAT) is a data-driven software that integrates satellite remote sensing with hydrological models, enabling the estimation of key reservoir parameters such as inflow, outflow, surface area, evaporation and storage changes. The earliest rendition of RAT (version 1.0) was set up for 1598 reservoirs around the world with limitations in functional robustness, updating frequency and scalability. Some of these limitations on updating frequency and functional robustness were addressed in version 2.0 that was later made operational for the inter-governmental agency of the Mekong River Commission. Recognizing the need for scalability to mobilize the global water management community to benefit from satellite remote sensing, we hereby introduce RAT version 3.0. This version is optimized for accelerating open collaboration among users for continuous improvement and customization of RAT to enable reservoir management breakthroughs. RAT 3.0 represents a wholesale overhaul from the previous versions to empower the global community of users and developers in the spirit of the open-source movement. RAT 3.0 allows reservoir monitoring advancements and new functional developments that can be freely exchanged and seamlessly integrated for continuous evolution of the software. A centralized web application has also been established to facilitate the storage and dissemination of global reservoir monitoring information along with comprehensive training resources. RAT 3.0 aspires to usher the traditional water management community into the era of satellite remote sensing. The global impact of the software can be expected to increase as uptake spreads, enabling a more sustainable and equitable utilization of our planet's water resources.

Sanchit Minocha et al.

Status: open (until 28 Oct 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Sanchit Minocha et al.

Sanchit Minocha et al.


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Short summary
The Reservoir Assessment Tool (RAT) version 3.0 represents a scalable and customizable software based on hydrologic modeling and satellite remote sensing to monitor the reservoir's dynamic state. The architecture of RAT 3.0 has been designed in such a way that it requires minimal user input with additional flexibility added for the more advanced users. It is more robust and less susceptible to data gaps or instability that satellite remote sensing systems can sometimes experience.