Software Support for Decision Support Modeling: An Overview (short course #333)

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Date: December 5, 2019
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada



Discover how decision-making may be improved with the use of groundwater modeling value-added software in this one-day short course.

Computer simulation of groundwater systems is integral to modern-day decision-making. However, because these systems are unseen, data are scarce, and simulators are defective, predictions made by models are in error. Although this does not preclude their use, it does require that the uncertainties associated with decision-pertinent model predictions be quantified and reduced as much as data availability permits.

It follows that models should not be used on their own in decision support. Instead they should be deployed in partnership with model-value-adding software that assimilates data, calculates post-assimilation predictive uncertainties, and optimizes groundwater management subject to constraints that are uncertain. Such software partnerships allow decision-makers to play to model strengths while avoiding the consequences of their weaknesses.

This one-day course describes how model-partner software codes — particularly those that are available through the public domain PEST and PEST++ suites — achieve these goals. It provides a high-level description of how these codes work with models, and of the algorithms that they employ for model calibration, uncertainty analysis, sensitivity analysis, and management optimization. Examples of their deployment in real-world modeling contexts, and the impact that they can have on the decision-making process, are also presented.

A short course of this nature allows insufficient time for computer exercises so there is no need for you to bring your laptops and install software. However, time will be allocated for questions and discussion.

Additional information

Who should attend?

This course is not just for modelers!

It is also for those who commission the building of models and who are stakeholders in model-based groundwater management. You will become familiar with a range of model-value-adding software. At the same time, you will gain important knowledge of what modeling can and cannot achieve. This will enable you to explore how innovative modes of model usage can provide benefits for decision support that are presently unrealized.

You will receive...

  • A copy of the PowerPoint® presentations used in the class..

The course outline will be posted upon availability.


On/before November 1

  • NGWA members — $395
  • Government employees (ID required)* — $395
  • Nonmembers — $545
  • Full-time students (ID required) — $345

Starting November 2

  • NGWA members — $495
  • Government employees (ID required)* — $495
  • Nonmembers — $645
  • Full-time students (ID required) — $445

*Please note those registering as government employees must do so by phone, fax, or mail; online registration cannot be accepted.

Special note for Groundwater Week attendees: Use discount code 333GWWSAVE to receive a $220 discount off registration fees for this short course!

Team discounts up to 10% available. Click for more details.

Venue and accommodations


Las Vegas Convention Center
3150 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(702) 892-0711


Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino
3000 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
(800) 732-7117
(702) 732-5111

Accommodations: NGWA has secured a limited block of rooms on a first come, first served basis at the per night group rates of $93 single/double occupancy, $128 triple occupancy, and $163 quad occupancy, plus $25 resort fee and applicable taxes. These rates are valid until the November 8, 2019 cutoff date, unless our room block has been filled before then. To receive these rates, book your room online at or call (800) 635-7711 and provide the passkey group code SNGW9R. For guest check-in and checkout times, please contact the hotel directly.