Case studies of Aquator use
Here we present three contrasting case studies of how Aquator can be used:
Supplying London - a 'model within a model'
Water for London is supplied from groundwater sources and a reservoir system filled
from the Thames and Lee rivers. Upstream of London these river basins are fed by
catchments and chalk and limestone aquifers that also supply local demands.
London, which has by far the largest daily water use in the system, comprises a
distributed demand fed from the reservoirs through water treatment works by a complex
supply network allowing different parts of the city to receive water from multiple
The Aquator model for this system is split into two parts: London sub model
and Thames, i.e. all components upstream of London. The complete model
of over 1400 components can be run as a whole or the London sub model can
be run separately with catchment flows applied to the Thames and Lee rivers just
upstream of London. This enables the modeller to test scenarios for London more
rapidly, as the model run time for London with about 400 components is considerably
faster than the complete model.
Another interesting feature of this model is the development of special Aquator
components for the client, Thames
Water, which simulate the company operating rules for chalk and limestone
aquifers, surface water inflows and strategic supplies.
The Canal Network - a different type of demand model
The client, Canal & River
Trust, needed a flexible software platform to build water resource models
of the 2000 miles of canal network in England and Wales. The principal difference
between a canal network model and a utility supply network model is that there are
no urban demand centres for sources to demand water. For these Aquator models we
use a standard reservoir component to emulate a canal pound coupled with
the river regulation function to control the movement of water.
As the operation of a lock on a canal requires a number of complicated
rules that are difficult to implement with a standard Aquator component, we developed
a special Aquator Lock component that emulates lock operation in a canal
system for the client. Further details can be found in this document.
Competing demands for water between industrial and domestic consumers
In Northern Spain in the early 20th century, Bilbao and Vitoria had independent
supply systems based on groundwater springs and reservoirs. In 1934, the government
approved a project for transferring water from the headwaters of the Zadorra basin
to the North. The Zadorra system would support population growth for Bilbao, providing
cheap energy and enough water for developing heavy industry located in the city.
During the 70s and 80s, the Zadorra system supported large population growth in
Bilbao and Vitoria and the water resources were thought to be enough to guarantee
both urban demand and hydropower generation, which had priority over urban supply
during large parts of the year, when the stored volume exceeded a control curve.
Unfortunately the sharing of resources was suddenly interrupted during 1989-91,
when the system suffered the most severe drought ever registered, leading to cuts
in hydropower generation. The resulting reduction of hydropower transfers and the
subsequent indirect reduction of flood control capacity led to severe flooding in
2003, causing large economic losses.
In 2006 SENER, who was contracted by the regional government, built
an Aquator model of the system to investigate how to operate and develop the Zadorra
system to prevent future failures and allow for further growth. The subsequent results
and recommendations were accepted by all parties, leading to the resolution of an
18-year 'water war'.