This includes water-sharing arrangements, the impact of policy and regulation as well as future impacts of a drier climate under climate change.

With this software, Victoria can effectively support integrated water resource management decisions, including operational activities and catchment, in management in the coming decades.

The benefit of Source includes

  • Better-informed decisions
  • Supporting improved operational efficiency and risk management
  • Improved management of environmental flow delivery, surface water storage, delivery for shared benefits and balancing water between different users
  • Improved management of water trade and carryover
  • Better able to meet Murray-Darling Basin Plan obligations

Most of the models required to transition to Source have been completed. Each of Victoria’s river and water supply systems across our 29 river basins may require one or more models. Each can take anywhere from 2 to 18 months to complete.

For more than 20 years, the Victorian Government has employed Resource Allocation Model (REALM) as its hydrological platform.

The Victorian Strategy for Transition from REALM to Source governs the changeover.

Steamer Plain near Budgee Ck, image credit: Keith WardSteamer Plain near Budgee Ck, image credit: Keith Ward

The transition has 4 stages

  • Model development, completion, integration, enhancement and maintenance: staged completion and use of base models to meet Victoria’s hydrologic modelling and water resource planning and operation needs.
  • Enhancing implementation systems and processes: reviewing, updating and establishing systems and processes to support a successful transition.
  • Capability building and communication: supporting Victoria’s hydrologic modelling community and water resource practitioners to use Source efficiently and effectively to meet Victoria’s hydrologic modelling needs.
  • Monitoring, evaluation and reporting: tracking our progress towards successfully completing the transition will allow early identification of any required adjustments to our plan.

View a timeline of the process (JPG, 91.1 KB) from the 2018-19 financial year to the 2021-22 financial year.

When fully completed at the end of the 2021/2022 financial year, Source supersedes REALM. Consistent with current practice, no new models will be developed by DELWP using REALM.

DELWP will provide only basic maintenance and support for existing REALM models and software until all major systems have efficient and effective base Source models that meet the needs of that system. Allowing for an overlap period of at least 12 months and assuming that the requirements for model development are met, REALM will no longer be supported by DELWP from July 2022.

Several public and private agencies are involved in the transition to Source, both within Victoria and nationally. These include Victoria’s water corporations and catchment management authorities, eWater, consultants, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and other State Governments.

DELWP will work closely with these organisations throughout the transition.

Source improves the guidance and information available for Victorian water policy and water resource planning and management.

Hydrological modelling has long played an important role for informing and guiding Victorian water policy and water resource planning and management decision-making.

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) endorsed a National Hydrological Modelling Strategy (NHMS) in 2008 to support and enhance hydrologic modelling. NHMS seeks to ensure future water planning and management across Australia is informed by best practice modelling. An integrated river basin water resources modelling platform known as Source is the key deliverable of the strategy.

The platform has been developed and maintained by eWater Limited, a joint government-owned, not-for-profit partnership, of which the State of Victoria is a company member.

A map of sources for and uses of eWater

Source is Australia’s National Hydrological Modelling Platform, designed to simulate all aspects of water resource systems to support integrated planning, operations and governance from urban, catchment to river basin scales including human and ecological influences.

For more information on Source please visit the eWater website.

DELWP has developed a strategy to transition from REALM to Source to guide the continued adoption of Source for water resource modelling in Victoria.

In line with the strategy Source hydrological models are under development across the state to meet stakeholders’ on-going requirements. The daily time-step Goulburn, Broken, Campaspe, Coliban and Loddon (GBCCL) Source model which covers Northern Victoria has been identified as a priority due to the significance of the water resources, the location within the Murray Darling Basin and the complexity of the water sharing arrangements.

The model has been continuously developed to a reference model as a base case from which all future models are developed to meet various core needs required for Northern Victorian water management practices. The Source Murray Model that covers the Murray and Lower Darling River systems has been developed by MDBA with input from jurisdictions including Victoria.

Any water supply system can be configured using Source as a network of nodes and carriers representing reservoirs, demand centres, waterways, pipes, etc.

It can be used as a 'what if' tool to address various options, such as changes in operating rules, or physical system modifications. System changes can be quickly and easily configured and their effects investigated.

A wide range of operating rules can be modelled either directly or indirectly by exploiting the basic set of node and carrier types and their corresponding attributes.

The user can specify the desired level of detail of output from the model. Output can be presented graphically, either in raw form or after post-processing using a suite of utility programs separate from the simulation model.

Input and output data files have the same format and can be easily transferred to commercially available word processing and spreadsheet packages such as Microsoft Office to enhance presentation or to perform more detailed analyses.

Page last updated: 05/05/22