WaterGEMS to the fore

Perrine Parrod, senior marketing manager, hydraulics and hydrology, Bentley Systems (pictured), lists regional cases where the firm’s solution led to efficiency and savings

01 March 2016

Hydraulic models are used by thousands of water professionals around the world. For many engineers, leveraging these models to streamline the modelling process is crucial. It helps them gain more time to plan the design and make operational decisions. Utilities in the Middle East are trusting Bentley’s WaterGEMS to create models that help make their water distribution systems more reliable, efficient, and sustainable.

With a growing population in the Middle East, engineers must evaluate their water distribution networks to ensure the infrastructure is renewed or expanded to supply potable water adequately. Engineers in the region are using WaterGEMS’ hydraulic modelling capabilities that help prepare intelligent master plans.

Comprehensive scenario management is just one capability in WaterGEMS that enables engineers to “optioneer” the water system, so that modellers can compare what-if scenarios, such as analysing rehabilitation alternatives for multiple planning horizons to effectively make decisions.

FuTech – Systems used WaterGEMS’ scenario management to solve low-water pressure problems caused by a pump station serving the village of Meser, Egypt, for the Kafr el-Sheikh Water and Wastewater Company. As part of this project, FuTech – Systems also prepared the water network for future water demands. Ultimately, the engineers relied on WaterGEMS’ optioneering capabilities to calculate optimum scenarios and suggested an increase in carrier pipe diameters so the pump station capacity could evolve from 30 litres per second to 200 litres per second.



Most short-term design projects require water professionals to spend as little time as possible on modelling to be productive. To that effect, WaterGEMS provides advanced analysis capabilities that address a wide range of water projects and optimised water distribution capabilities that reduce time spent on detailed design. WaterGEMS also includes model management capabilities that easily compare alternative designs for a variety of system conditions to prioritise site and subdivision improvements.

An example of using WaterGEMS to produce cost-effective designs is a project by the Greater Cairo Water Company. It undertook hydraulic modelling to address network deficiencies and low water pressures in a 4,000 km network. Pressures ranged from 0.5 to 1 bar and velocities reached 6 m per second at some locations.

The team used WaterGEMS and its Darwin Designer module to simulate alternatives for improvements that optimised hydraulic performance.

The project reconfigured and expanded the network to 62,000 km of pipe and installed eight pump stations. Water pressures rose to 3 to 6 bars and velocities fell to 3 m per second. The network now serves a population that grew from 4 million to 6 million during the four-year project.



Energy cost reduction – Pumping costs account for a high proportion of a water utility’s operating budget, so energy consumption must be actively managed and minimised as much as possible. This can be done using hydraulic models through optimising pumping strategies and conserving water (and consequently reducing pumping usage) by detecting and limiting water leakage.

The objective of a SR30 million ($8 million) water network development project in Alhasa, Saudi Arabia was to optimise the water supply system for better leakage control. International Aramoon Co Ltd used WaterGEMS to identify issues that needed to be addressed before the team could implement network efficiencies. It deployed WaterGEMS across the lifecycle of water resource infrastructure to optimise designs, manage leaks, prioritise investments, manage energy consumption, and enhance operations workflows.

Improved emergency planning – Utilities must be operated in a manner that minimises expenditures, while maintaining health and safety of the public. Emergency responses require a variety of supportive analyses, ideally by comparing simulated results from a calibrated hydraulic model with measured data in real time. Such a system enables proactive management, including forecasting and short-term planning, of any abnormal behaviors in water distribution systems. Examples of emergency analyses include pumping outage, reaction to contamination events, trace analysis, asset criticality, which can all be accurately and effectively simulated in WaterGEMS.

AECOM used WaterGEMS and Hammer transient analysis software to improve water quality and reduce water hammer in the Al-Raha Beach Development (ARBD)’s potable water network in the United Arab Emirates. AECOM studied the anticipated changes in demand from 2013 to 2030 on water quality and water hammer and provided recommendations. AECOM reduced the likely cost due to waterborne diseases and disinfection by-produce, customer complaints, the number of sensors, and the number of chlorination stations from 9 to 2.



Condition assessment capabilities in WaterGEMS provide utilities and their consultants in the region with renewal decision support for optimising the replacement and rehabilitation of water mains that is reliable. This allows utilities to maintain their networks with pro-active processes, ensuring long-term system reliability by decreasing pipe breaks, leakage, lost revenues, and outages. Ultimately, this improves the quality of asset planning and reduces the risks of infrastructure failure.

As an example, Behiera Water and Wastewater Co replaced the antiquated Damanhur water distribution network in Egypt to reduce the amount of non-revenue water and improve the overall management of the distribution network. Behiera Water used WaterGEMS to model the water distribution network and analyse its performance and area water usage. The project reduced the supply pressure, which reduced pipe breakage risks.

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