Water area (Water Overlay)

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A Water area is a means to specify the initial water level for large sections of your project area. This initial water level is only applied to water terrains. The datum height of the water level is assumed to be equal within the water area.

If no water areas are present, no water is initialized in the water terrains. Waterways and other water bodies will be dry at the start of the simulation (unless an inundation area is present, which performs a similar function).

If the underground model is active, and no groundwater prequel is present, the underground watertable is initialized at the height defined by the water area.


  • A water area represents real-world water areas.
  • Grid cells are marked as water by an overlapping water terrain. If a grid cell is marked as water, but is not covered by a water area, the grid cell will not be initialized with water from water areas.
  • For waterways with a steep decline, using a single water area to define the water level might not suffice, since the level is a datum height, not a relative offset from the bottom. Alternatives, such as staggered water areas, inundation areas, or initializing the waterway dry, should be considered.

See also