What is Source?

Welcome to Source - an application that can be used for both catchment and river modelling. Source provides a flexible structure that allows you to select a level of model complexity appropriate to the problem at hand and within any constraints imposed by your available data and knowledge. You can construct models by selecting and linking component models from a range of available options.

Source is designed to:

You can build various kinds of scenarios, including:

Note: There are two versions of Source versions available - a version that allows unrestricted access to all parts of Source, and Source (public version), that provides limited access. Refer to Source versions for more information on what is available in both.

Target audience

Source is designed for managers, researchers, modellers and consultants to develop computer simulation models of rivers and catchments so as to firstly, understand and explore important aspects of their behaviour and secondly, guide decision making.

To use Source, you should have a good working knowledge of catchment hydrology, integrated catchment modelling, river systems and river system modelling and, preferably, the support of experienced users. This reference manual assumes you have a basic knowledge of mathematics, physics and chemistry equivalent to completing high school or introductory tertiary courses.

Information produced by Source may be useful for a broader audience of people, including:

History of Source

Since its original implementation as the E2 Modelling Framework, Source has transformed over the years to incorporate the management of catchments and rivers. The framework was originally a basic set of model selection, analysis and scenario tools. Later on, it was split into catchments (under the name WaterCAST) and rivers (Source Rivers). WaterCAST extended the original E2 modelling framework with new models and scientific functionality. WaterCAST was renamed Source Catchments in its first public release, in July 2010.

Source Rivers incorporated River Manager and River Operator, and together, they dealt with the management of river systems. Source Rivers was combined with Source Catchments to create Source in 2011.

Appropriate applications

Source can be used to:

Generally, Source models are run over periods of the order of years (eg. 100 year simulations) and on either monthly or daily time-steps. Other simulation period lengths and time-steps can be used as are appropriate for the issues being investigated.

As a Source user, you should be familiar with modelling issues such as:

In the case of river operations, you should also know about:

It is strongly recommended that you attend Source training to become familiar with how it operates, along with its capabilities and limitations.

Source limitations

Source embodies a new approach to catchment modelling that encourages not only a new way of thinking about constructing models, but also about managing catchment management problems. As with all models, however, there are limitations: