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Surface water models

Surface water models can closely simulate the real-life hydrology and operation of rivers and water supply systems.

The models use past evidence and data to predict what may happen in the future. They provide valuable information about how much water there might be and how it might move through the systems. This information is important to river operators, water authorities, water users, environmental water managers and policy-makers, among others.

The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) acts as custodian of many of Victoria’s surface water models. DEECA also provides support to the Victorian hydrological modelling community.

Surface water modelling can help to:

  • predict the impacts of climate change on our water resources
  • set sustainable limits on the amount of surface water that can be diverted from a river system and demonstrate compliance with these limits
  • undertake environmental flows studies and develop environmental watering plans
  • forecast and report on Victoria’s water availability and use
  • inform the operation of large and complex water supply systems
  • develop and put into action our long-term water resource plans, such as Sustainable Water Strategies, Long Term Water Resource Assessments and Urban Water Strategies.

What is water modelling? video

Watch this short video to learn more about how modelling helps us to manage our water resources.

Modelling tools


Victoria's hydrological modelling platform, Source, simulates all aspects of water supply systems. Source was developed by eWater on behalf of Australian state and federal governments.


REALM (Resource Allocation Model) can simulate both simple and large complex water supply systems. The department is no longer investing resources in REALM enhancements or upgrades, as Victoria has now transitioned to the Source platform.


STEDI (Spatial Tool for Estimating Dam Impacts) is a Windows-based program that simulates the effect of farm dams on streamflow.

Page last updated: 08/09/23