This web interface is currently free thanks to support from UKRI and Microsoft. Our aspiration is to maintain a free service for users with light or moderate use and for university students and researchers. Other users may in future be asked contribute to cloud computing and maintenance costs. The portal can be customised for individual organisations if necessary.
Model projects or individual networks can be shared with other registered users. There is currently no limit on the number of users that share a model. As we learn about use habits and the cloud computing costs they imply we will likely introduce some usage and model sharing restrictions on the free version.
You can export your model in JSON format and run it offline using the open-source Pywr – a water resource simulator in Python, and even import it back into the interface later. To use the exported Pywr JSON format directly, you will also need to install Hydra-Pywr and import it into your script that runs Pywr (https://github.com/pywr/hydra-pywr).
No, although we use open-source software, models are privately hosted and managed. Models and their data are stored securely on the cloud. Models are not ‘open’ or ‘public’.
Some groups of stakeholders need to share models, but not necessarily all the data needed to run and evaluate those models (e.g., cost data or river flow data). We are currently developing this feature for a regional group of water utilities; it will be available soon.
Currently the user interface is online only. It could be possible to install the interface on a personal computer or on an internal server, but because of the software engineering this would require, it is not currently a priority.
It depends on what has been modified. Most modifications are automatically saved. A save button is provided where changes are not automatically saved (e.g., flow data). This enables the user to check data inputs before saving.