REALM is a generalised computer program that can simulate simple water supply systems as well as large and complex ones such as the Goulburn irrigation system in south-eastern Australia.

Any water supply system can be configured using REALM 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.

REALM uses a fast network linear programming algorithm to optimise the distribution of water within the network for each timestep of the simulation period, in accordance with user-defined operating rules.

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 (ASCII) 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 statistical analyses.

REALM credentials

The REALM package was developed and tested over many years in close conjunction with its major users.

Program maintenance and user support, including the provision of technical workshops, is provided by Victoria University.

Over the years, many enhancements have been made in response to suggestions and feedback from users. As a result, not only is the program now able to meet the needs of a diverse set of users in the water industry, but it has also developed into a comprehensive tool for water supply planning and management.

REALM has been adopted as the modelling standard for water resource planning and management in Victoria and is the key analytical tool for reviewing and quantifying water entitlements for water authorities within the state.

There are now REALM water resource planning models of all major water supply schemes in Victoria. The technology has also been adopted in several other states.

REALM has proved its credibility in the water industry as a user-friendly, reliable and powerful tool to address water supply planning and operational issues and now also functions as a teaching and research tool.

REALM is distributed as public domain software and can be downloaded for free.


The download file is a self-extracting compressed file containing all the files required for installing REALM.

This file should be downloaded into a temporary directory, unzipped and run to extract the installation files including a setup program. Run the setup program to install REALM on to your computer.

Download the software using the link below:

REALM software Windows version 6.28 (Self-extracting EXE 11.6 MB) (last updated 3 May 2013)

Note for new users

REALM is a specialist computer simulation package and its use requires a high degree of technical ability.

It is recommended that new users attend an introductory workshop (see below) run by Victoria University.

The REALM user manuals explain how to install and run REALM and describe the program's attributes. These manuals are being progressively revised as enhancements to REALM are undertaken.

Updated electronic versions will be available as they are completed.

Download the manuals below:

Getting started manual (PDF, 858.8 KB) (last updated 31 March 2009)
Getting started manual (accessible version) (DOC, 199.5 KB)

User manual for REALM version 6.28 (PDF, 3.5 MB) (last updated 3 May 2013)
User manual for REALM version 6.28 (accessible version) (DOC, 1.9 MB)

The user manual has been updated to include additional functions, including modelling irrigation demand with PRIDE, carryover and streamflow transformation.

Worked examples manual (PDF, 1.2 MB) (last updated 31 March 2009)
Worked examples manual (accessible version)(DOC, 937.0 KB)

Find out more

If you are having difficulties downloading any of the above files, including the REALM software, please contact Dr Uttam Manandhar on: 03 9637 8347.

Technical workshops

Victoria University provides a limited amount of support to registered REALM users. It is recommended that new users attend the basic workshop before running the REALM software.

Technical workshops are conducted as the need arises.

The basic workshop is meant for beginners and/or modellers with little REALM experience. All basic and essential features of REALM are covered in this workshop.

Furthermore, the general water supply modelling concepts and their relationship to REALM are presented. Several hands-on examples are used during the workshop for participants to get sufficient familiarity with REALM modelling.

Day 1, 8.30 am to 5.00 pm

  • Water supply planning concepts
  • Introduction to Windows REALM
  • Structure of REALM program package
  • Streamflow and demand input data
  • Nodes and carriers in REALM
  • Target curves; urban restriction rules
  • system editor
  • System listing
  • REALM plotting
  • Other basic REALM functions
  • Example problems; hands-on sessions.

Day 2, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm

  • REALM output files
  • REALM utility programs
  • Above and below target zones
  • Shortfall bypass zones
  • Example problems; hands-on sessions.

Day 3, 9.00 am to 4.00 pm

  • Example problems; hands-on sessions
  • Advanced features of REALM such as:
  • Irrigation restriction policy
  • Capacity sharing
  • Water quality modelling.

The advanced workshop is designed for modellers with some experience in REALM. Advanced features of REALM are addressed in this workshop.

Day 1, 8.30 am to 4.00 pm

  • Mathematical programming and network LP
  • Equivalent system networks (ESN) and equivalent component networks (ECN) for reservoirs and demand centres
  • Available water,  multi-systems, etc.
  • System penalties
  • Modelling carrier losses and minimum flows
  • Debugging modelling problems.

Day 2, 9.00 am to 4.00 pm

  • Advanced usage of variable capacity carriers
  • Restriction policy for irrigation systems
  • Modelling capacity shared systems.

Other considerations (time permitting):

  • Multi-replicate simulation
  • Water quality modelling.

To express interest in attending a workshop, download and fill in the REALM registration form below and forward by mail, email or fax to the following address, or contact Prof. Chris Perera.

REALM registration form (DOC, 38.0 KB)
REALM registration form (PDF, 11.0 KB)

You also can register as a REALM user for information about REALM workshops and upgrades of REALM software and manuals by completing the REALM registration form.

Professor Chris Perera
School of Engineering and Science,
Victoria University,
PO Box 14428 MCMC
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 8001.

phone: 03 9919 4729
fax: 03 9919 4139

School of Engineering and Science,
Victoria University
Ballarat Road, Footscray

The registration fee will be advised at the time of registration.

REALM documentation and lunch are provided.

Please bring your own writing materials and calculator. Computers will be provided but you may bring your own computer.

Professor Chris Perera, School of Engineering and Science, Victoria University, will run the course.

At least one experienced REALM modeller will provide assistance in the hands-on sessions.