Building a Calibrated Rainfall-Runoff Model with eWater Source


Source is a water quality and quantity modelling framework that supports decision-making and a whole-of-catchment management approach. It allows you to model the amounts of water and contaminants flowing through a catchment as a result of different climate and catchment scenarios.

It provides an interface for the input, manipulation, and output of flow and water resources related information, through the creation of models and scenarios.

This two-day course investigates working with spatial data as an input to define catchments, preparing and loading time series data, setting up rainfall-runoff models and calibration techniques within Source using automatic calibration tools. An introduction to Source basic concepts and user interface will be followed by a workshop on preparing data formats for Source, including the spatial data inputs. Users will then be taken through the various models available in Source, including rainfall runoff, constituent and filter models, and also be introduced to its customisation capabilities. Finally, we will explore calibration methods to complete the development cycle of building a catchment scenario in Source.

Course content

Attendees will learn how constructing catchment models and running simulations for a range of scenarios helps to assess the impacts of catchment management practices on water quantity and quality outcomes.

Day One

  1. A brief history of Source development.
  2. Accessing the software and software versions.
  3. Source concepts:
    • - What is Source?
    • - Scenario building blocks:
      • - Node-link structure
      • - Link types
      • - Node types.
    • - Differences, similarities and relationships between the Source schematic scenario (used to model river management) and geographic scenario (used to model catchments)
  4. Familiarisation with the Source user interface, with particular focus on elements used to configure geographic scenarios.
  5. Understanding data requirements for building Source models:
    • - Common data formats
    • - Data pre-processing
    • - Finding data
    • - Using the data sources manager in Source.
  6. Viewing, interpreting and managing model outputs in Source.
  7. The online eWater community – support and development environment for Source users.

Day Two

  1. Exploring available models in Source with discussions:
    • - Rainfall runoff, constituent generation and filter models
    • - Model choice.
  2. Introduction to the customisation of Source:
    • - Custom functions
    • - Plugins
    • - Community plugins
    • - Run from the command line.
  3. Source applications: A collection of existing Source models that demonstrate catchment focused capabilities.
  4. Model calibration:
    • - Introduction to the Source calibration wizard
    • - Choosing between Objective Element options
    • - External calibration of Source models with discussions.
  5. Discussion on the future development of the catchment modelling functionality in Source.

Who should attend

This training is aimed at professionals (engineering and environmental) in local government, consultancies and waterway and catchment management agencies.

Hydrological modellers interested in creating calibrated base models from which to explore the effects of various changes in their catchments will benefit most from this course.

Why you should attend:

  • Address complex problems with modelling scenarios
  • Build on your calibration and data requirement knowledge
  • Complete parameter sensitivity and analysis tasks
  •  An opportunity to learn from leading catchment practitioners
  • Network with other catchment managers, and trade ideas and contact details.


Juanita Moolman
Senior Hydrologist

Rachel Blakers

Lili Zhang

What’s included?

  • Training materials containing: user manual (online and downloadable), presentation notes and worked examples
  • Meals (morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea)
  • Use of Source software for the duration of the course, computers provided.

Locations, dates & registration

Please enquire

Additional training

Introductory webcasts:

To help you get more out of Source for your modelling projects, we also offer customised courses. Please send us an enquiry.

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