Versions Compared


  • This line was added.
  • This line was removed.
  • Formatting was changed.
Comment: Edit through the REST API


This feature is not available in Source (public version).

To ensure the most efficient use of the available water resource, you must be able to transfer water ownership amongst owners. If one or more owners has surplus capacity or water, they lend this to the owners with a deficit using the Borrow and Payback systems. If multiple owners need to borrow, and there is insufficient water or capacity to meet their combined requirement, a configured Distribution system is used to determine priority of access.

Note: Ownership must be enabled prior to configuring distribution systems and borrow and payback systems in Source. Refer to Ownership in Source. Once enabled, a default distribution system (with one priority level) and a global borrow and payback system is generated.

Distribution systems

A distribution system is one where owners with surplus water share their allocated percentage with owners that cannot meet their requirements. They define how this resource can be shared amongst owners based on priority levels. The proportion that is distributed is determined as follows:

  • Owners with a surplus will share their surplus in proportion to their share of the total surplus; and
  • Owners with a deficit will receive surpluses in proportion to their share of the total deficit.
Note: An owner may distribute some or all of their water to one or several owners in varying proportions. The total amount of water, including that not distributed, must at all times, remain at but never exceed 100%.


Distribution systems have the following characteristics:

  • They have global scope. In other words, they are applicable throughout Source;
  • They specify the water recipient (priority levels); and
  • They do not define when (time) or how fast (flow rate) the recipient will receive water.

Priority Levels

Priority levels determine the order of distribution amongst owners that require water, which occurs from highest to lowest. Surpluses must fully meet requirements (deficits) at a higher priority level before the next lower priority level is considered. In other words, they will always be executed for each owner at priority level 1, then priority level 2, and so on. Also note the following:

  • There can be any number of priority levels. Priority levels with only one owner will have no effect. Priority levels that are identical to higher levels will also have no effect. If there are 6 owners, there can only be 57 permissible priority levels, 15 containing two owners, 20 containing 3 owners, 15 containing 4 owners, 6 containing 5 owners, and 1 containing all 6 owners;
  • Each pair of owners must appear in at least one priority level. That is, it is not possible to have owners that are unable to borrow or lend to or from another owner; and
  • If a distribution rule is operating in priority 1 and an owner cannot receive the entire distribution allocated, the rule will move onto priority 2, and so on for the lower priority levels. Consider owners A, B, C, and D, each operating at priority levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively. Now, assume that A gives its spare capacity to B. However, B does not require the entire allocation. Then, A can choose to give the remainder to C, before D.
Note: One owner can be part of several priority levels.

An example of a priority level description is shown in Figure 2.


Figure 2. Defining Priorities (Example)

Configuring distribution systems

Distribution systems are configured in the Ownership setup dialog. A default distribution system is present once ownership has been enabled. To add a new distribution system, right click Distribution Systems and choose Add Distribution System (Figure 2). You can also rename or delete a distribution system using the contextual menu.

The table specifies the list of owners that share water at each priority level. Click Add Priority Level to add additional priority levels and tick or untick the relevant checkboxes to add or remove an owner from a priority level. 

Figure 2. Distribution systems

Borrow and payback

In a distribution system, borrow records the exchange of water from owners with surplus to those with deficit. Borrowing can occur at any node where there is a loss or gain, and results in the ownership of the borrowed water being transferred from a lender to the borrower. An exchange of water indicates that when an owner borrows water, they need to pay it back to the owner they borrowed it from. This is referred to as payback, which occurs when water that was lent to a particular owner is paid back to its original owner. Borrowing owners may pay back their debt by transferring their water to the other owner, either in a specified payback storage or indirectly via Resource Assessment Systems.

Note: Payback can only occur when the borrowing owner has water within the relevant system (the ownership system or a storage) to transfer to the lending owner.

Both borrowing and payback occur in a particular order, based on priority levels. An owner’s debts at the highest priority level must be paid back before the next priority level is considered. Payback within a priority level is proportional, ie. owners with a debt will pay back the debt to another owner in proportion to the other owner’s share of the owner’s total debt at the priority level.

Types of borrow and payback

There are two types of borrow and payback systems (as shown in Figure 3):

  • A single global borrow and payback system - tracks borrow anywhere in the ownership system. By default, all borrow and payback systems created are global; and
  • Zero or more local borrow and payback systems, each associated with a single storage and both borrow and payback must occur at this storage. The storage cannot be a member of any other borrow and payback system (including global systems).
Note: By default, a storage is part of a global system. For both systems, the amount of borrow from individual owners is limited by system capacity.

Each storage that falls within a scenario's ownership system can only be a member of one borrow and payback system, but where there is reconciliation/payback at a storage for the global system, a local system storage must be used (represented by Storage 1 in Figure 3).

 Figure 3. Borrow and payback systems

Configuring borrow and payback

Configuration items for global and local B-P systems are similar (Figure 4). For both types of B-P, you must specify the distribution system, along with the borrowing parties.

For global borrow and payback, in addition to specifying a distribution system and borrowing configuration, you must also configure the type of payback:

  • System - Ownership system in which borrow-payback occurs. This is a straightforward case of the borrowing owner paying back to the lending party; or
  • Storage based - Storages where debts in the borrow and payback system are paid back or reconciled.
Figure 4. Global borrow and payback

Image Modified

Interpreting results

To view the results of distributed water, as well as that borrowed and paid back, enable recording of the Ownership and Borrow and Payback attributes under Parameters in the Project Explorer. After configuring and running the scenario, click View Results in the Recording Manager to open the Ownership Results dialog (Figure 5).

Figure 5. Borrow-payback balance (as a time-step)

This window shows all the ownership systems present in the scenario, along with the borrow-payback systems that are part of the ownership system. It shows the borrow and payback balances amongst owners at a particular time-step (as a table in the Current Balances tab or a time series in the Timeseries Data tab). You can also use the date-picker above the time scroll to change the date. The Total column shows the overall balances for each owner at that time-step. Payback occurs from an owner that has a negative balance to another owner with a positive balance.

In the example shown in Figure 5, Owners 2 and 3 have borrowed 30ML and 50ML from Owner 1 respectively. The Total column indicates that Owner 1 must receive a total of 80ML, whereas Owners 2 and 3 must pay back a total of 30ML and 50ML respectively. These numbers represent the balances for the first time-step in the model.

Figure 6 shows the borrow-payback balances for all three owners as a time series. The graph can be separated into three distinct segments:

  • Upto 11/10/2009: Owners 2 and 3 borrow from Owner 1. The graph shows the balance of Owner 1 increasing in this period (he is owed water from the other owners), whereas the other two owners show a fall;
  • 12/10/2009: Owner 3 pays back their share of the outstanding balance to Owner 1. This is represented by the increase in balance for Owner 3 and the corresponding decrease for Owner 1; and
  • 13/10/2009 onwards: Owners 2 and 3 continue to borrow from Owner 1 in proportion to their storage volume. However, Owner 3 also pays back water to Owner 1, hence the increase in balance for Owner 3. Owner 2 may not have any storage capacity allocated to it, hence is unable to payback.
Figure 6. Borrow-payback balance (as a time series)