Engineering Modeling Applications

Engineering Modeling  


Models of water distribution systems have a long history—likely longer than most realize. However, in recent decades, the functional capabilities, user interfaces, and processing algorithms have markedly improved. While many professionals in the water sector may have reviewed or even developed a model in the past, today's practice of modeling has evolved significantly, and with the proliferation of advanced technology throughout the water sector, tomorrow's engineers and operators will commonly use even more advanced models of our vital water infrastructure.


Hydraulic Modeling 

Hydraulic models are typically developed to show a snapshot of a utility's system, for master planning purposes or to run “what if” scenarios. 

Distribution system models are being used more routinely to evaluate issues having to do with operations, energy use, vulnerability, and water quality, in addition to their traditional applications. As the need to more accurately model systems proliferates, the models increase in complexity and level of detail.

Optimizing Water Quality & Treatment 

Water quality modeling is a powerful tool for analyzing the fate and effect of contaminant transport in drinking water plants and distribution systems.

 Transient Modeling

Transient modeling focuses on oscillations in piping systems caused by a sudden change in system operations, such as pump failure or rapid valve closure. Modeling is used to identify mitigation measures for potentially damaging high or low-pressure waves caused by a transient event. The starting point of a transient model is generally a well-calibrated or depictive hydraulic model.

AWWA Engineering Modeling Applications Literature Review Database

Water Distribution System Modeling Literature Review Database

Technical Books


AWWA Manuals

M32 Computer Modeling of Water Distribution Systems

Opflow | JAWWA | AWWA Water Science

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Water Infrastructure Conference and Exposition

Much of our water and wastewater infrastructure needs rehabilitation and replacement. Shifting population patterns and the need for vigilance against human-made and natural threats place increasing demands on utilities.

Join us as AWWA hosts the Water Infrastructure Conference & Exposition, an event focused on solutions to infrastructure challenges.  This conference addresses essential asset management planning and programs, the latest on lead service line issues, water loss, operation and maintenance best practices, and reinvestment strategies.  Critical infrastructure protection through emergency preparedness planning and enhanced physical and cyber security measures are also covered.


Educational Resources

Introduction to EPANET and Example Applications (EL303)
Course Length: 3 hours / 0.3CEUs
Course Description: EPANET is a software application used throughout the world to model water distribution systems. This course, adapted from EPA training, provides a comprehensive overview of the use of the application, it’s tools, features and benefits.  Learn More

Technical Committee Engagement

AWWA members are recognized globally for their industry expertise and their generosity in sharing that expertise for a better world through better water. AWWA members participate in committee activities, developing conference programs, writing technical manuals, developing standards, creating educational content and contributing to AWWA publications. Committee members primarily interact through conference calls, emails, and face to face meetings at conferences and events. Access more information on volunteering for an AWWA committee.

The following committees are active in addressing engineering modeling application issues:

  • Engineering Modeling Applications
  • Digital Twins
  • Water Utility Technology & Automation