SYMPLE proposes a School of Hydrogeological Modelling hosted by professionals and academics. The course will blend theory with practice in ways that our unique industry requires. Such courses are comparatively rare and urgently needed.

The traditional workflow begins with field investigations, proceeds to the building of a conceptual model, and then seeks to build an often too complex numerical model on that basis. The underlying principle of this old approach is that we can deterministically simulate what happens under the ground. This is a demonstrably erroneous premise. The “traditional” method has been leading us to widespread distrust of what modelling can achieve

SYMPLE intends to promote and facilitate the understanding, use and evaluation of hydrogeological numerical models through a multidisciplinary program (the School) associated with the use of strategies aimed at solving specific problems (project-related strategy).

SYMPLE intends to teach an emerging paradigm, supported by latest available ideas and software for data assimilation, of “starting from the problem and working backwards“. This workflow consists of firstly identifying the type of data that has the greatest capacity to reduce the uncertainties associated with decision-critical predictions of system behaviour, and then designing a numerical simulation strategy that serves the decision-support imperative of actually quantifying and reducing those uncertainties.

Development of better strategies to address existing and pressing problems just requires the same data and software mostly already available (PEST and PEST++ suites), but a new mindset. And in many cases the modelling will be quicker and less expensive because it is:

  1. management targeted;
  2. no more complex than it needs to be to serve the decision-support demands;
  3. supported by project-related strategies with associated specific software.

That is, modelling will be complex enough to assimilate data and reduce uncertainty, but strategically simple because it is decision-focused.