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Consumers are both water sinks and sources. They can be used to model municipal or industrial waterworks with a subsequent supply network, which require drinking or process water and release it back into a waterbody via the sewer system and sewage treatment plant with a time delay. The time delay indicates how long on average the water remains in the consumer until it is returned into the river as treated waste water. The consumer replaces a detailed simulation of an urban area with a sewer system. However, if urban areas need to be considered in more detail, this can be done using urban sub-basins, pipelines and reservoirs acting as retention structures of the sewer system.

Demand Behavior

The demand behavior provides information about the desired water quantities. The definition of these water quantities is possible via two options:

  • as a constant pattern, which repeats daily, monthly and/or annually
  • as an observed or generated time series from the Time series manager

External Contribution

A consumer can receive water from different water resources systems or catchments in order to meet his demands. If a consumer has a water supply source that is located outside of the modelled system, this is considered an external contribution. As with the demand behavior, external contributions can be defined using two options:

  • as a constant pattern, which repeats daily, monthly and/or annually,
  • as an observed or generated time series from the Time series manager

Return Flow

Just as a consumer can receive external contributions, it can also deliver water to areas outside of the modelled system. Such a situation exists e.g. if a waterworks facility has to serve several supply areas, of which at least one is not part of the modeled system. Or if a sewer system discharges water into a body of water outside of the modeled system. More generally, it can be used to model the transfer of water from a modeled catchment to a catchment outside of the system. In such a case, a consumer behaves like a diversion, where three different concepts are conceivable (for a detailed explanation of the options, see the diversion element).

  • Threshold value concept
If the return flow from the consumer exceeds a certain threshold value, the portion of flow above the threshold value is diverted and not returned to the system.
  • Percentage distribution
A certain percentage of the water flowing back to the system from the consumer is diverted to an external area and not returned to the system.
  • Diversion according to a rating curve
The amount of flow diverted to external areas depends on the current return flow of the consumer.

The volume flows of a consumer are illustrated in the following figure.

Volume flows of a consumer