NZ Water Model, water resource and flood forecasting


Photo credit: NIWA

Tuesday 31st August 2021, 2pm (NZ)

The presentation will briefly describe the NZ Water Model (NZWaM) modelling framework that aims to generate accurate river flows simulations for nearly 4M of river reaches in NZ using an ensemble of hydrological models. Applications of the first iteration of NZWAM for water resource and hydro-electricity generation planning under climate change (using NIWA’s HPC facilities) will be discussed in light of climate uncertainty and decision-making timeframes. Current challenges, perspectives, and next steps will be discussed as a basis for discussion.

The second part of the presentation will focus on the NZ river flow forecast research project producing an hourly forecast for the next 48 hours, for nearly 60,000 rivers across New Zealand. The research project started with the development of a prototype in close consultation with stakeholders to develop a system that complements existing local models. The aim of the system is to provide a national-scale picture of where river flows will increase most during extreme rainfall events to help inform disaster preparedness and response efforts. Celine will discuss the consultation process, key hydro-meteorological components and system framework using NIWA’s supercomputer, alongside the communication product before discussing forecast evaluation results, open challenges, perspectives, and next steps.


New Zealand Water Model – Hydrology Project (NZWaM) PowerPoint presentation

  • Dr. Céline Cattoën-Gilbert is a hydrological forecasting scientist at NIWA, a principal investigator of a 2017 Natural Hazards Research Platform fund for “Enhanced probabilistic flood forecasting”, and since 2016, the leader of “forecasting floods and hazards”, a NIWA strategic science investment fund. Céline leads a team of forecasters, hydrological modellers, research software engineers and GIS specialists in developing a national flow forecasting and flood early warning system for New Zealand.


A national flood awareness forecasting system for ungauged catchments in New Zealand - PowerPoint presentation


Inter-agency collaboration, a core principle in the development field, maximises impact of work of developing agencies and increases the value delivered to their stakeholders. For collaboration opportunities to be created, development organisations like SPC actively work on making their work transparent and visible to external actors.

As part of their effort towards increasing collaboration between agencies involved in the development sector in the Pacific, SPC and NIWA are organising a series of seminars in which some of their current and past work will be presented. The audience, in addition to staff members of these two organisations are stakeholders interested in SPC’s and NIWA’s work including MFAT, MBIE and others.

The topics covered in the webinars are topical and gravitate around use of advanced computing resources in solving problems in the fields of climate change, geoscience and fisheries among others. 

The topics and the dates are available in the related events below.

The events will be interpreted and recording of each of the sessions will be made available online.

Please contact the organiser, Dr Aleksandar Zivaljevic[email protected] for more information, for the invitation to the events or to express interest in webinars interpretation in French.
For matters related to communication, please contact Camille Menaouer, Digital Communications Coordinator at [email protected].

Watch the replay of the webinar:

Useful link:

Webinar series page

Joint Event
Joint Partner


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