Wflow is Deltares’ solution for modelling hydrological processes, allowing users to account for precipitation, interception, snow accumulation and melt, evapotranspiration, soil water, surface water and groundwater recharge in a fully distributed environment. Successfully applied worldwide for analyzing flood hazards, drought, climate change impacts and land use changes, wflow is growing to be a leader in hydrology solutions. Wflow is conceived as a framework, within which multiple distributed model concepts are available, which maximizes the use of open earth observation data, making it the hydrological model of choice for data scarce environments. Based on gridded topography, soil, land use and climate data, wflow calculates all hydrological fluxes at any given grid cell in the model at a given time step.
Wflow was born out of the creation of Deltares in 2008, when a strategic review identified the need for a distributed hydrological model to allow the simulation of flows at the catchment scale. With the intention being to encourage greater scientific collaboration. For this reason:
- Wflow is free and open source software.
- Wflow is easily coupled with other models and software applications.
- Contribution to the wflow code development is encouraged.
From 2021 the wflow code is distributed under the MIT License. Wflow is also available as a compiled executable under the Deltares terms and conditions. The wflow computational engine is built in the Julia language, a high-performance computing language and does not have a graphical user interface, being designed for maximum user flexibility. Prior to 2021, wflow was developed in PCRaster Python language and is still available but not actively developed.