Water Distribution Modeling

Why a Water Distribution Model?

A water distribution model is one of the more important tools available for the administration of a water supply system. A water distribution model can assist utilities operators and administrators in various aspects, including design, maintenance, and operation of today’s modern water supply system.

A water distribution model is a key tool, not only in the operation of the system, but also for troubleshooting distribution problems, planning capital improvements, rehabilitation, designing system expansions, and evaluation of water quality.

With improvements in today’s computer capabilities, models of water distribution systems have become flexible, user friendly, with graphic and tabular output that is easy to read and understand.

Uses of Models


  • Determine causes of low pressures
  • Assess problem affecting tank filling/emptying
  • Evaluate causes of deficient fire-flows

Vulnerability Assessment

  • Determine the reliability of the system under unfavorable conditions (i.e. power outage, pipe breaks)
  • Water Quality Modeling - Evaluate effects of introducing a contaminant at one or more locations within the system (determining where the system is most sensitive to contamination)
  • Assess the ability of the system to provide adequate protection against fires

Emergency Planning

  • Develop strategies for minimizing the impact of system outages, contamination, and other emergencies. Evaluate “What if” scenarios (e.g.: fire in combination with power outages, pump out of services).
  • Response to emergencies in real-time, predicting the influence of crisis events, and assessing the impact of various possible corrective actions.
  • Evaluate past emergencies, understand their causes, and study the effects of actions that were taken at that time (and actions that could have been taken), and evaluate alternative solutions.

System Security

  • Master Planning (including both new development and rehabilitation)
  • Feasibility Study
  • Design new components (pipes, booster stations, storage) and evaluate impact of proposed improvements (pipe replacement, parallel pipes)
  • Designing new developments/subdivisions

Ways in Which Jones & Henry Can Assist You

Jones & Henry has developed numerous water distribution models to assist communities with designing needed improvements (such as water line extensions and reinforcements, elevated and ground storage, and booster stations) and troubleshooting existing problems.

When our study is complete we provide the owner with the system model for on-going use.

Services provided by Jones & Henry in developing a water distribution model include:

  • Model development
  • Analysis of present and future conditions
  • Field testing of system pressure and flows
  • Training owner employees in the use of the model
Jones & Henry
Engineers, Ltd.