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HowLeaky Technical Manual released

HowLeaky is a software model that has been designed to assess the impacts of different land uses, soil conditions, management practices and climate-types on water balance and water quality. It was designed to rapidly provide reliable and flexible results from limited input data for a wide range of land use types and can be used to benchmark, compare and highlight the impacts of changing key variables on the system response.

Historically, HowLeaky has been used mainly by Queensland Government officers, private consultants and other State government bodies for soil-water, runoff, drainage and erosions studies. More recently, the simulation engine has been incorporated into several web and mobile-based software with minimalistic and highly customised user-interfaces, such as Australian CliMate and the SoilWater App, for soil-water estimation of dryland and irrigated practices.

QWMN funded a project in 2019 to provide users and developers with a detailed scientific description of the simulation model contained within the HowLeaky software (Version 5.49). This includes documentation of the scientific model equations, algorithms and descriptions of the input and output parameters. The project is now complete and the final report is available to download from here. Sample input parameter values for different submodels within HowLeaky are provided in the appendices to the final report.

This project was undertaken to provide modellers with a detailed description of the model’s operation. While HowLeaky has existed for nearly 20 years, until now there has been no written account of how the model works. Previously, only the source code was provided to modellers which was of limited use to those with no understanding of the code syntax. Modellers are now able to learn about model through text, diagrams and mathematical equations.

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