Woodard & Curran Hydraulic Modelers Recognized by CWEMF

Published: 4/3/2018

During the California Water and Environmental Modeling Forum’s (CWEMF) Annual Meeting, the organization’s awards committee presented Ali Taghavi and Saquib Najmus with its prestigious Hugo B. Fischer Award. Taghavi and Najmus are both pioneers in integrated water resources modeling and are Senior Technical Practice Leaders at Woodard & Curran. 

The Hugo B. Fisher Award recognizes professionals in California’s modeling community whose expertise has aided the state’s water stakeholders and decision makers through an innovative development, refinement, or application of a computer model or a novel approach to how models are used in open forums for planning or regulatory functions.

CWEMF gave Taghavi and Najmus the award for co-authoring the Integrated Groundwater and Surface Model (IGSM), a hydrologic model that has been widely used in California. Initially a groundwater model, IGSM was later enhanced to become a fully integrated water resources model which includes considerations for stream routing, surface water and land surface processes, and groundwater simulation. IGSM was one of the first of its kind to integrate and simulate land surface processes, streams, unsaturated zones, and aquifer systems dynamically. Taghavi and Najmus led the application of IGSM in numerous local and regional groundwater basins in California including the Central Valley Groundwater Surface Water Model (CVGSM) and the original development of the C2VSim Model. Together, these modeling platforms have significantly advanced groundwater research, modeling and planning in California and has helped various projects across the country integrate modeling, data and analysis in a common framework.

Woodard & Curran's Business Unit Leader Alyson Watson says,"I am so pleased to see Ali and Saquib being honored in this way for the tremendous contributions they have made in advancing our understanding of the complex interaction of groundwater and surface water in California. Their groundbreaking work in developing the IGSM tool established the foundation we now build upon as we enter a new era of groundwater management. It is truly an honor to work with such visionary and accomplished professionals."

Taghavi and Najmus are currently leading efforts with DWR to develop the Sacramento Valley Simulation Model (SVSim) and enhance and refine C2VSim and DWR’s Integrated Water Flow Model (IWFM). C2VSim, SVSim, IWFM, and local models will be cornerstone of implementation of California’sSustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) at regional and local scales.


The California Water and Environmental Modeling Forum is a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to increase the usefulness of models for analyzing California's water-related problems.

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