EGU21-7797, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Towards Open and FAIR Hydrological Modelling with eWaterCycle

Niels Drost1, Jerom P.M. Aerts2, Fakhereh Alidoost1, Bouwe Andela1, Jaro Camphuijsen1, Nick van de Giesen2, Rolf Hut2, Eric Hutton3, Peter Kalverla1, Gijs van den Oord1, Inti Pelupessy1, Stef Smeets, Stefan Verhoeven1, and Ben van Werkhoven1
Niels Drost et al.
  • 1Netherlands eScience Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands (
  • 2Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft, Netherlands
  • 3Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System, Boulder, CO, United States

The eWaterCycle platform ( is a fully Open Source system designed explicitly to advance the state of Open and FAIR Hydrological modelling. While working with Hydrologists to create a fully Open and FAIR comparison study, we noticed that many ad-hoc tools and scripts are used to create input (forcing, parameters) for a hydrological model from the source datasets such as climate reanalysis and land-use data. To make this part of the modelling process better reproducible and more transparent we have created a common forcing input processing pipeline based on an existing climate model analysis tool: ESMValTool ( 

Using ESMValTool, the eWaterCycle platform can perform commonly required preprocessing steps such as cropping, re-gridding, and variable derivation in a standardized manner. If needed, it also allows for custom steps for a hydrological model. Our pre-processing pipeline directly supports commonly used datasets such as ERA-5, ERA-Interim, and CMIP climate model data, and creates ready-to-run forcing data for a number of Hydrological models.

Besides creating forcing data, the eWaterCycle platform allows scientists to run Hydrological models in a standardized way using Jupyter notebooks, wrapping the models inside a container environment, and interfacing to these using BMI, the Basic Model Interface ( The container environment (based on Docker) stores the entire software stack, including the operating system and libraries, in such a way that a model run can be reproduced using an identical software environment on any other computer.

The reproducible processing of forcing and a reproducible software environment are important steps towards our goal of fully reproducible, Open, and FAIR Hydrological modelling. Ultimately, we hope to make it possible to fully reproduce a hydrological model experiment from data pre-processing to analysis, using only a few clicks.

How to cite: Drost, N., Aerts, J. P. M., Alidoost, F., Andela, B., Camphuijsen, J., van de Giesen, N., Hut, R., Hutton, E., Kalverla, P., van den Oord, G., Pelupessy, I., Smeets, S., Verhoeven, S., and van Werkhoven, B.: Towards Open and FAIR Hydrological Modelling with eWaterCycle, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7797,, 2021.