Western Water Transfer Model

Rapid growth in Western Water’s service area, coupled with declines in local catchment yields, led Western Water to develop a transfer system which connects to the Melbourne Water bulk water network, and enables the transfer of water from local catchments.

The region had recently been earmarked for extensive growth, particularly on the metropolitan fringes near Melton and Sunbury.  With system demands exceeding predicted levels, the transfer system was already under stress and was likely to require augmentation in the near future.

Against this backdrop, in 2016 Urban Water Solutions was commissioned by Western Water to develop a hydraulic model of the Western Water transfer system to enable a better understanding of the system capacity and the limitations of the existing system to meet future water resource challenges and to enable the planning of future capacity upgrades.

The model developed comprised approximately 265km of pipeline, 31 pumping stations and 55 storages and was validated using the available SCADA data.  Following model validation, various operational scenarios were simulated to assess the system performance under a range of “what-if” scenarios.  This testing confirmed the effectiveness of actions taken by operations staff during recent peak events, and highlighted critical asset upgrades required to achieve a suitable level of system redundancy.

A final model scenario was setup to emulate a Peak 2016/7 Summer day.  This model was set up to ensure water supply availability during the upcoming peak summer period and enable quick operational scenario testing during incidents if required.