RIBASIM header - Introduction



RIBASIM (River Basin Simulation Model) is a generic model package for analyzing the behaviour of river basins under various hydrological conditions. The model package is a comprehensive and flexible tool which links the hydrological water inputs at various locations with the specific water-users in the basin.  

RIBASIM enables the user to evaluate a variety of measures related to infrastructure, operational and demand management and the results in terms of water quantity and water quality. RIBASIM generates water distribution patterns and provides a basis for detailed water quality and sedimentation analyses in river reaches and reservoirs. It provides a source analysis, giving insight in the water's origin at any location of the basin. RIBASIM follows a structured approach to river basin planning and management.

RIBASIM is a modelling instrument for river basin planning and management. It has a set of outstanding features which make it a state-of-the-art river basin simulation package. The model has been applied for more than 35 years in many countries and in a wide variety of projects. Water management organizations world-wide use it to support their management and planning activities. Large and complex river basins have been modelled and simulated with RIBASIM. Separately modelled sub-basins can be combined into one main-basin.

RIBASIM has a link with the rainfall-runoff model Wflow, the groundwater flow model SEAWAT, the detailed water quality process model DELWAQ (including waste load model) and the Water Framework Directive (WFD) explorer. Further, RIBASIM is used in an operational water demand and allocation environment using the Delft-FEWS software.

Field of application

RIBASIM is designed for any analysis which requires the water balance of a basin to be simulated. The resulting water balance provides the basic information on the available quantity of water as well as the composition of the flow at every location and any time in the river basin. RIBASIM provides the means to prepare such balances in required detail, considering drainage from agriculture, discharges from industry and the downstream re-use of water. A wide range of basin performance parameters are generated for evaluation of the simulated situations.

User interface

The structure of RIBASIM is based on an integrated framework with a user-friendly, graphically, GIS-oriented interface. Working with RIBASIM means applying a structured approach to river basin planning and management. This structured approach forms the basis for the working environment. The working environment provides:

  • guidance of the user at the design, calculation (simulation) and the analysis phase

  • GIS environment for the interactive preparation of the basin schematization, the entry of object attributes data and the evaluation of simulation results.


The RIBASIM interface is MICROSOFT Windows based. RIBASIM does not require specific hardware (standard pc or laptop with Windows will be sufficient) or any software from third parties.