eWater Source Urban

For managing urban water

eWater Source is flexible and extensible to meet future needs including modelling urban water supply

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Introduction to Source for managing urban water

Having a secure supply of clean water to a city is fundamental to its health, function and vitality and is one of the most important aspects to planning and managing urban areas. To assist planners and managers of urban areas we use water resources models to assess future water resources over a range of time scales, from months to decades. Water resources models are also used to assist decisions such as infrastructure investment, planning strategies and water restriction levels. Given the value and importance of decisions based on water resources models it is paramount that we use the best modelling framework available. Source provides us with this tool.

Source is the next generation of water resources software developed by CRC eWater. It is a node-link model with nodes representing storages, inflows, water users and the like. These nodes are linked together building up a schematic representation of a water resources system. Water is dynamically allocated to water users through the system using user defined rules or network linear programming. 

In the urban environment Source has the ability to represent a wide variety of water sources such as:

  • River extractions to in-line or off-line reservoirs
  • Direct river extractions
  • Groundwater extractions
  • Alternative sources such as Stormwater Harvesting and Waste Water Treatment
  • Desalination
  • Decentralised Sources such as rainwater tanks

These sources of water can be linked to other elements throughout the model, accounting for complex interactions in our water resources systems, leading to more robust results. For instance, common climate data can drive demands as well as inflows to storages ensuring that system stresses are shared and reinforced providing a realistic depiction the system state for a given set of climate data.

In addition accounting for alternative water sources in the urban environment, Source can also represent urban demand. Satisfying urban demand is the aim of urban water resources managers and this topic has received a large amount of attention and there are, a large number of existing urban demand models. Source does not seek to replace these models, rather it provides a framework in which existing demand models be incorporated through importing existing timeseries, mathematical expressions or plug-ins. This flexible framework ensures compatibility with existing demand model allowing continuity of data and modelling approached.

Source also incorporates the functionality to represent common water resources management scenarios such as the use of restriction or trigger levels, environmental flows and interbasin transfers. The incorporation of this functionality and the other features ensure it is a tool that can replicate the key elements of an urban water resources system.

Source has been applied in a number of situations, over a variety of scales, for instance Source has been used to:

  • Evaluate stormwater harvesting schemes;
  • Model the Melbourne Water Headworks System; and
  • Optimise operational rules of the ACT Headworks System.

Using Source to manage urban water

Aerial urban image

Source can be used for urban water supply management at the town, city, and regional scale. It can assess a full range of supply and reuse options including desalination. This allows users to incorporate towns and cities into water management models for river systems.

Source can be linked to existing models that operate at whole of city or cluster scale, allowing evaluation of alternative options for decentralised water supply and demand management.

Source helps water managers and consultants to manage rural to urban water sharing as well as planning infrastructure to secure water supplies in the face of climate variability and change.

It also allows them to examine options for more efficient use of water, including optimal configuration of infrastructure and demand management solutions. They can also strike a balance between human and environmental needs for water, as well as to manage the impacts of cities on water quality entering coastal waters.


Using Source to manage urban water:

  • develop scenarios for integrated water supply for urban areas
  •  consider centralised and decentralised supply infrastructure
  •  evaluate demand management options
  • protect environmental assets
  •  manage uncertainty and risks
  •  use with existing models or develop plug-ins
  • extend models as needs change.

Technical features

  • Simulate the full urban water cycle.
  • Distinguish between surface water catchments, water supply zones, and waste water catchments (sewersheds).
  • Partition flow through separate infrastructure allowing representation of schemes such as “third pipe” recycling systems.
  • Represent and distinguish infrastructure such as wastewater treatment plants, balance storages, and reservoirs
  • Define regression-based urban demand models.
  • Logically represent resource demands and their links to multiple supply sources.
  • Represent multiple supply paths (from single demand to multiple supplies).
  • Create feedback or recycling loops to represent reuse and recycling strategies.
  • Define and run simple monthly to daily river system and water supply headworks models.
  • Define major storages and operating rules.
  •  Import rainfall–runoff catchments from an existing model.

Other urban products

eWater has other stand-alone urban products which are available now. Click the button below to find out more.

Urban Developer

Urban Developer allows urban water managers to compare integrated water management options, ranging in scale from the allotment to the suburb level.

This next generation software tool from eWater challenges the conventional silo approach to modeling the different streams of the urban water cycle of stormwater, waste water, water supply and re-use options.

music logo

New features. Improved functionality.

Designing urban development proposals that meet Water Sensitive Urban Design Standards has been made even easier with the release of the new version of the urban stormwater software, music v5.1.

music can accurately simulate real-time water sensitive design.

music – model for urban stormwater improvement conceptualisation – is designed to help urban stormwater professionals visualise possible strategies to tackle urban stormwater hydrology and pollution impacts. Since music was first developed in 2001, the software has been used by thousands of professionals working in private practice and in state, regional and local government agencies throughout Australia.

Find out more