An understanding of interconnected and complex hydrological systems is necessary for sustainable water management and engineering solutions, especially in light of global environmental change. Increasingly, computer models of individual natural and artificial features such as precipitation, runoff, rivers, groundwater, waste water and estuaries are being coupled to enable a more holistic understanding of how water moves through entire river basins – from cloud to coast. In parallel, there is a need to communicate these complex interrelationships at a conceptual level to “lay” audiences including other engineers, policymakers, and the public.
To date, however, hydrological visualisations have typically focused on displaying the behaviour of individual hydrological features or subsystems. The C2C visualisation project brings these subsystems together to create holistic 3D river basin visualisations, thereby allowing non-experts to understand interconnected natural and artificial water systems at a conceptual level. The visualisations will remain “true to life” through validation against real-world and model simulation datasets.