In Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and all the Murray-Darling basin states and territories use Source for water resource planning and management. Internationally, government agencies and ministries in many countries have built Source planning models, including in India, China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Lao, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt and New Zealand.
They are using Source to help understand questions like:
- How much water is available for use and how reliable is it?
- What if demand changes due to population growth or new or changed water use, such as a change in crop type?
- How might climate change might affect inflows to storages or water user demands?
- What are the possible impacts of development, such as a new hydropower station or dam on downstream flows or water quality?
Rural water authorities and river managers
Source supports water authorities in:
- Developing operational plans, for example, Annual Operating Plans that forecast operations under different weather and demand scenarios and Drought Management Plans.
- Undertaking daily reservoir and river operations to supply water for irrigation, town supply, environmental demands.
- Managing catchment development, so to protect the quantity and quality of water flowing into reservoirs.
- Complying with water management legislation and implement policy, such as allocation priorities.
Urban water utilities
Water utilities across Australia use Source for a wide range of applications, including:
- bulk water planning and system optimization, for example to find the most efficient way to use different water sources (such as reservoirs, groundwater or desalination)
- daily reservoir and system operations
- planning for increased population growth, changes in population density and new urban development
- exploring opportunities to reduce demand and manage stormwater through Water Sensitive Urban Design and demand management, such as using rainwater tanks and water efficient appliances.
The potential applications of Source in the urban environment have increased significantly with the release of the MUSICX and Urban Developer plugins. Together, these three eWater tools enable catchment and river system models to integrate with small-scale urban quantity and quality models, providing water utilities with a platform to investigate and design fully Integrated Water Resource Management solutions.
Source helps catchment managers to:
- understand how water moves through the catchment
- forecast the potential impacts on catchment hydrology from major land use change, including bushfire, forestry operations or new agriculture crops.
- manage catchment development to protect the quantity and quality of water flowing into waterways
- support wetlands, riparian and floodplain ecosystems.
Many universities use the free version of Source to teach the fundamentals of hydrology modelling. For example, The Victoria University uses Source in its Bachelor of Civil Engineering course. Through the Queensland Water Modelling Network, various Queensland universities have run programs where students interested in hydrology modelling have been paired with experienced modellers to work on a real-life project.
The use of plugins makes Source an ideal research tool, where users can introduce a new method into the new platform for comparison and testing against other methods rather than building an entirely new model. They also make it easier for users to include new research and information in the platform.
Consulting and private sector
As Source is more broadly adopted in Australia and internationally, more and more water resource consultants are gaining expertise in the platform.
This capability ensures they can undertake work for Australian governments and the increasing number of water authorities and utilities using Source.
The flexibility of Source allows the private sector to use it for a range of less traditional uses, including for undertaking water balance assessments in land redevelopment projects and to prioritise investment to reduce road closures from flooding.