WaterTalk: The Ontario lake-river routing product

Tuesday, July 12, 2022 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT


As part of the Water Institute's WaterTalks lecture series, Bryan Tolson, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and PhD Candidate Ming Han will present: The Ontario lake-river routing product.

This event will be offered in person on the University of Waterloo campus in EIT 1015 and online via Zoom.

More information

Are you doing work on any of Ontario’s 82,000 lakes? Perhaps you are working on a watershed or river reach somewhere in the Province? Are you looking at observed streamflow data from any of the Water Survey of Canada gauges or observed water quality data at any of the nearly 500 active Provincial Water Quality Monitoring Sites? Are you a hydrological modeller? If yes to any of these questions, you should come and learn about what the Ontario Lake-River Routing Product (OLRRP) is, how our team built it and how you can access and view it without installing any software. Our OLRRP provides a total of 35 lake, subbasin and river channel geospatial attributes covering the entire Province. These attributes can be accessed in an online map-based interface or in GIS-shapefile format. As an example, the OLRRP provides you with the watershed for each of the 82,000 lakes in the Province (over 10 ha in surface area) as well as the drainage network downstream of each lake. Overall, the OLRRP breaks the Province up into a vector-based suite of about 200,000 subbasins with an average area of 5 km2. Importantly, all of this information for the OLRRP is available to you without requiring terrain analysis from a DEM. The OLRRP is constructed from the Ontario Integrated Hydrology (OIH), HydroLAKES, and MODIS landcover data products. The corrected, high quality OIH flow direction grid (~30 m) is the basis for subbasin delineation. Furthermore, we provide a cloud-based platform which allows you to extract a drainage network for your point of interest from the OLRRP and customize the resulting lake-river network (e.g., simplify it by removing small lakes, reducing number of subbasins) to the resolution appropriate for your case study.  The OLRRP provides all the inputs required for anyone building a model to hydrologically route water through complex lake and river systems. We will demonstrate navigating the OLRRP online map  and the BasinMaker cloud-based post-processing tools for a few audience requested points of interest.

Speaker bio

Bryan Tolson

Dr. Bryan Tolson is a hydrological and water resources modeller. He likes to solve model building issues like how to properly and efficiently discretize a watershed and how to calibrate models so that they reasonably simulate observed data. He also studies and develops new methods for optimization, sensitivity and uncertainty analysis of environmental and water resources simulation models. His research aims to improve how we develop and apply models for flood forecasting and climate change impact analysis applications. He is a Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Waterloo.

Ming Han 2

Ming Han is a hydrological modeller and GIS specialist. He is a PhD Candidate whose thesis is titled ‘Improving hydrological process representation in lake and forest dominated watersheds’. He is supervised by Dr. Tolson in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Waterloo.

The University of Waterloo is committed to achieving barrier-free accessibility for persons with disabilities who are visiting, studying or working at Waterloo. If you have questions concerning access or wish to request accommodations for this event, please contact Julie Grant (j26grant@uwaterloo.ca)