What's new in WaterCAD and WaterGEMS V8i SELECTseries 2?

Product(s): WaterCAD, WaterGEMS
Version(s): V8i SELECTseries 2 (
Area:  N/A


The SELECTseries 2 release of WaterCAD and WaterGEMS V8i includes many new features and improvements. This tech-note explores each change.

- Support for Newer Platforms
- Pipe Renewal Planner
- Pipe Break Analysis
- Improved Pump Curve Display
- Pump Combination Analysis
- Top-fill tanks with float valves
- EPANET calculation engine upgrade
- SCADAConnect Ease-of-use Improvements
- Projectwise Integration changes
- i-model support
- Seed File support
- DXF export layer control
- Symbology Definitions
- Microstation Integration Improvements
    - View associations
    - Tooltip customizations
    - Print preparation
    - GIS style
    - Multiple models
    - Detach and save-as Options
- More Flexible Date/Time Formatting
- Formula-based User Data Extensions
- Support for US Survey Feet
- Pressure loss result fields
- Performance increase for controls
- Multi-Select & Delete support for lists
- Selection Tool for User Notifications
- New Network Tracing Queries


Note: for details on new features in HAMMER V8i SELECTseries 2, see What's New in HAMMER V8i SELECTseries 2?


Support for Newer Platforms

WaterCAD and WaterGEMS now support the following platforms:

  • AutoCAD 2010 and 2011 (32-bit version only)
  • Microstation V8i SELECTseries 2 (
  • ArcGIS 10 (WaterGEMS only)
  • ProjectWise 08.11.07.XX


Pipe Renewal Planner

The Pipe Renewal Planner is a powerful new condition assessment tool, enabling you to score and rank existing water mains based on their adequacy in terms of a number of performance indicators called "aspects", which are not in the same units. The default aspects that the pipe renewal planner primarily considers are Pipe break history, capacity (fire flow) and criticality (demand shortfall when pipe is out of service). You can also consider any other aspect of the model, including calculated model results or user-entered field (such as installation year, zone, material, etc).


For a given aspect, each pipe is given a normalized score on a 0-100 scale. Each aspect is then given a weight, and an overall score is generated for each pipe.


The overall process for determining the "Pipe Score", which is the final result of this analysis, is:

  1. Build model with sufficient information to calculate aspect of interest.
  2. Optionally run capacity, criticality and pipe break analysis
  3. Start Pipe Renewal Planner by selecting Analysis > Pipe Renewal Planner or picking the Pipe Renewal Planner button.
  4. Pick the New button to create a new Pipe Renewal analysis.
  5. Select aspects to be used and weights for each.
  6. Set up scoring to convert raw score/property values into individual aspect scores.
  7. Compute Pipe Renewal Pipe Scores.
  8. Review results, using many standard methods such as color coding the plan view.


Note: Similar to Darwin Calibrator, Darwin Designer, Darwin Scheduler and Skelebrator, the Pipe Renewal Planner feature uses a separate license, which should show up in your license management tool.



Pipe Break Analysis

The Pipe Break Analysis tool is a new feature that allows you to import and analyze historical data on pipe breaks. The results of this analysis can be viewed on their own or used as part of the Pipe Renewal Planner tool to determine the overall condition score of a pipe. A projected break rate (breaks per year per mile) is calculated for each pipe, along with other results such as annual expected cost.



  • A pipe break analysis should not be confused with a transient analysis. To check for maximum pressures during a transient or "surge" event, you will need to analyze the model with Bentley HAMMER.
  • The number of breaks per pipe and duration of failure history can either be manually entered or imported from an external file (using the  button)
  • When importing, each pipe break record needs to be associated with the pipe label/ID.



  • The projected break rates can be converted to a "score" (on a 0-100 scale) in the "Predefined Aspect Options" tab of the Pipe Renewal Planner tool. These scores are then considered in the overall pipe score computed in the Pipe Renewal Planner tool.

The overall steps in conducting a pipe break analysis consists of:

  1. Creating a model. (preferably an all-pipes model or a skeletonized model)
  2. Setting up a scenario with a pipe break alternative.
  3. Importing/creating pipe break history data within the Pipe Break tool.
  4. Creating pipe break groups. (if group feature is used)
  5. Setting other analysis options. (e.g. individual vs. group rates, projection period)
  6. Run break projection.
  7. View results.
  8. Use results in Pipe Renewal Planner

For more detailed information, check the Running Pipe Break Analysis TechNote 


Improved Pump Curve Display

In previous versions, the pump curve viewer (right click on a pump and choose "pump curve") only displayed the head curve, for the current time step. The pump curve display has been improved in V8i SELECTseries 2 and you now have the ability to:

  • Display the efficiency curve as well as the head curve.
  • Display both efficiency and head curves for different times on the same axis.
  • Display head curves at different relative speed factors for variable speed pumps.



Example 1: Current time with head and efficiency:



Example 2: head and efficiency at multiple times with different speeds:




Pump Combination Analysis

The SELECTseries 2 release of WaterCAD/GEMS V8i introduces a new element type called a pump station,  which is used in a new tool called Combination Pump Curves.

A pump station is a polygon element used to model multiple pumps that are in the same structure, serving the same pressure zone. It provides a graphical way to display the pumps associated with the station. A pump station is not a hydraulic element in that it is not directly used in a hydraulic analysis but rather it contains a list of pumps that are within the "station".

A pump station displays which pumps are in the station by dashed lines connecting the pumps with the station polygon centroid. A pump does not need to be inside the polygon to be a pump assigned to the station and pumps inside the polygon still need to be assigned to the station. Select the pump station from the "Pump Station" attribute of each individual pump.

Once the pump station has been established, you can perform a pump combination analysis, either by right clicking the pump station and choosing "combination pump curve" or by going to Analysis > Combination Pump Curves. Multiple combination pump curves can be created and saved, similar to the system head curve manager.

Combination Pump Curves allow you to view the performance of multiple pumps running together in parallel in a pump station. The system head curve can optionally be displayed, at multiple times. The example below shows three different combinations for two time steps (system head curves).


The "active?" column allows you to choose from all possible combinations of pumps (which ones are on or off). The "ID" is used to identify the particular combination in the legend. The number in the cell indicates the number of pumps of that pump definition that are running for the combination corresponding to that row. If there is a zero in a cell, the pump is off for that combination.

For more information on this topic please click here


Top-fill tanks with float valves

If the tank is a top filled tank (which may refer to a side inflow tank above the bottom but below the top), you can now model this directly in the properties of the tank node. Select "true" for the "Tank Fills From Top?" property and set the invert level (relative to the base) of the inflow pipe at its highest point. Water will not flow into the tank through that pipe unless the hydraulic grade is above that elevation.

If the inlet valve throttles the flow as it nears full, you can also now directly model that in the tank node, by selecting "true" for" Inlet Valve throttles?". You must then enter the discharge coefficient for the valve when it is fully open, the level at which the valve begins to close and the level at which it is fully closed.


EPANET calculation engine upgrade

The SELECTseries 2 release of WaterCAD/GEMS V8i includes an upgraded version of the EPANET hydraulic calculation engine: 2.00.12. This version includes enhancements to control valve convergence (such as PRVs in parallel) and water quality computational changes. Several new calculation options are available to facilitate the convergence enhancements.


You also now have control over which version of the calculation engine to use, mostly for compatibility reasons:

  • WaterGEMS 2.00.12 - Computation engine based on EPANET 2.00.12 with Bentley's own enhancements and features.
  • WaterGEMS 2.00.10 - Computation engine based on EPANET 2.00.10 with Bentley's own enhancements and features.
  • EPANET 2.00.12 - Computational engine based on EPANET 2.00.12 including any Bentley enhancements and features that do not change hydraulic results compared to EPANET, for models that are able to be completely represented in EPANET.
  • EPANET 2.00.10 - Computational engine based on EPANET 2.00.12 including any Bentley enhancements and features that do not change hydraulic results compared to EPANET, for models that are able to be completely represented in EPANET.


SCADAConnect Ease-of-use Improvements

The SCADAConnect module now has the following improvements:

  • Connection Manager, for easier setup of connection strings
  • Improved user interface
  • Improved documentation
  • Ability to populate user data extension fields
  • "Load Initial Settings" tool for creating scenario/alternative
  • 25-signal license is now included with WaterGEMS


Projectwise Integration Enhancements

In this release, the integration with Projectwise has been enhanced:

  • Enables ProjectWise collaboration
  • Save/Open all files to/from ProjectWise
  • Supports ProjectWise Captive Environment
  • Supports Single Sign-On and Auto-Login
  • Supports Document Creation Wizards


i-model Support

With the SELECTseries 2 release of WaterCAD and WaterGEMS V8i, you can now publish an i-model. An i-model is an immutable container for rich multi-discipline information published from known sources in a known state at a known time. Basically it is a portable, read-only copy of a model file that can be viewed by users that do not have WaterCAD/GEMS. The topology as well as the attributes and results (for a particular timestep) can be viewed in MicroStation, ProjectWise Navigator and Bentley View. Since Bentley View is free, i-models provide a way for anyone to easily view data and results for a WaterCAD/GEMS model file.

Under File > Export, you will have a "publish i-model" option, which requires the i-model publishing engine (downloadable from selectservices.bentley.com). The i-model publishing engine shows as a prerequisite on the download page for WaterCAD/GEMS, but is only necessary if you intend to publish i-models. If you have no need to publish i-models, you do not need to download and install this optional component.



Seed File Support

Seed files allow you to save project settings and data as a template (the seed file has a .wgs extension). You can then reuse these settings/data while creating new projects using the data from the previously saved seed file.


DXF export layer control

When exporting the plan view of a drawing to a DXF file, different elements can be placed on different layers.



  • For nodes, you can can enter a custom label for the layer.
  • For pipes, you can choose to generate layers for each pipe diameter, with control over the prefix and suffix.


Symbology Definitions

You will now have a dropdown at the top of the Element Symbology manager, which allows you to configure which symbology should be applied. For example, you could have one symbology definition for steady state with certain annotations and color coding enabled, then another one for EPS, with different annotations and color coding enabled.

  • Click the ellipsis button next to the dropdown at the top of the Element Symbology manager to create new symbology definitions.
  • All color coding and annotations that you create will always show up. Symbology definitions simply keep track of the status of the check boxes, for annotations, color codings are the element type itself.
  • Create a new symbology definition, choose it from the dropdown, then check or uncheck the desired items.



Microstation Integration Improvements

A number of improvements have been added to the Microstation Environment:


View Associations

When working in the MicroStation integrated mode, it is now possible to associate scenarios and symbology definitions with MicroStation Views. This basically lets you see different scenarios and/or symbology definitions (color coding/annotation at the same time, by opening multiple MicroStation Views.


A "mode" button is available for both Element Symbology and Scenarios:




  • Synchronized mode: This basically means that the scenario (or symbology definition) will be the same for all views. Switching the scenario or symbology definition will cause it to change for all views. Use this mode for scenarios if you want all views to always show the same scenario. Use this mode for symbology if you want all views to use the same symbology definition (arrangement of symbology). 
  • Independent mode: This basically means that the scenario (or symbology definition) can be different for all views. Switching the scenario or symbology definition will cause it to only be switched in the active View. Use this mode for scenarios if you want a view to always show the scenario that you selected when that view was active. Use this mode for symbology if you want a view to always use the symbology definition that you selected when that view was active.


  • View 1 shows symbology for data entry such as elevations and pipe material
  • View 2 shows the same scenario but with symbology to review results such as pressure
  • View 3 shows a close up of a subdivision in a different scenario
  • View 4 shows annotated fire flow results for an automated fire flow scenario




Tooltip Customizations

While using the Microstation integrated mode, the new tooltip customization feature allows you to define custom text to appear when hovering the mouse over an element in the drawing. You can enter static text and/or dynamic annotations, similar to element symbology annotations. This can be a convenient alternative or supplement to annotations, as you can quickly view data just for the element you point to.




Note: be sure to right click on the tooltip customization and choose "make active".


Multiple Model Support

A single dgn file can now reference multiple WaterCAD/GEMS models, by using the MicroStation Models feature. Simply attach a new model to the dgn, then attach the WaterCAD/GEMS model. Here is an example workflow:

  • In the Models window, create a new model.
  • Click the view attributes button at the top-left corner of a view, then select the desired model.
  • With a certain view active, go to the WaterGEMS menu and choose Project > add existing project (or add new project if you're just starting a model.)
  • Make the other view active and repeat the above step.


Print Preparation

Print Preparation is a special tool that was not readily available in previous versions. It is now included with the installation of WaterCAD/GEMS, making it easier for you to print your model when using the Microstation integrated mode. It can be accessed from the bottom of the Tasks list:


Print preparation is essentially a printing wizard; first you select a template, then follow the prompts, selecting the area of the drawing and rotation for the main viewport and detail views. Several templates are included with WaterCAD/GEMS: ANSI, ARCH and ISO:






GIS style Display

You can now choose between CAD (zoom dependent) or GIS (zoom independent) drawing style when working in MicroStation. With GIS style, symbol and text sizes stay the same, regardless of your zoom level.



  • Select from the Drawing Style button at the top of the Element Symbology manager.
  • Can be changed on a per-element-type basis, by double clicking on the desired element in the element symbology list, then editing the "display style" field in the property grid.


Detach and save-as Options

In this release, you can now detach a WaterCAD/GEMS model from the dgn and save it to a new location.

  • To detach the model from the drawing, go to WaterGEMS > Project > Detach. When opening the dgn, the model will now no longer open.
  • To save a model to a new location, go to WaterGEMS > Project > Save Attached As, then pick the new location. In previous versions, the model files were not necessarily stored in the same location as the dgn, so relocating the model was not as easy.

More Flexible Date/Time Formatting

In previous versions, time was often displayed in a fixed way, and in some cases was not consistent. for example, the calculation summary displayed as 03:00:00 whereas data tables displayed as 3.00. In V8i SELECTseries 2, you can now customize the time format.

  • This applies to numerous different things, such as graphs, tabular data, the Time Browser, etc.
  • When looking at a time field, right click and choose "units and formatting". You can now select from an array of time formats.
  • For graphs, right click on the time axis and choose "time properties" to bring this up.



  • The "EPS Results Browser" is now called the "Time Browser". Instead of just showing clock time, it now shows decimal clock time along with a second column that can be customized, like mentioned above.




Formula-based User Data Extensions

In the past, a user data extension always contained static, user-entered information. Now, you can create a user data extension whose value is calculated based on other existing fields. For example, you can create a field whose value is equal to the square root of the difference between one input field and another user data extension. The possibilities are endless. In the below example, a field has been created for pipe elevation, whose value is equal to the junction ground elevation minus 5 feet.





  • User data extensions are accessed from Tools > User Data Extensions.
  • Choose “Real (Formula)” for the “data type”.
  • Be sure to choose the correct dimension, unit and numeric formatter. For example the result shown in the above “Pipe Elev” example user data extension is a length dimension, with depth as the formatter. This means that this field will use the correct units (feet, a unit of length) and the same format settings (decimal precision, etc) as other elevation fields. This way, it can be graphed on the same axis as other depth fields.
  • In the formula editor, double click attributes at the top to populate the correct field name at the bottom. Right click to change the unit as necessary.
  • Many math functions (such as square root, absolute value, etc) are available in the formula editor window and you can also use IF/than/else statements.


Support for US Survey Feet

You can now select US Survey feet as a length unit.



  • Very close, but not exactly the same as international feet
  • One International Foot = 0.3048 meters
  • One US Survey Foot =  0.3048006 meters


Pressure loss result fields

Pressure Loss and Pressure Loss Gradient have been added as standard result fields.




Performance increase for controls

Performance has been improved when working in the Control manager (Components > Controls). Meaning, navigation through the Control user interface should be faster, especially for larger models with many controls.



Multi-Select & Delete support for lists

You can now use the CTRL (control) and Shift keys to select multiple items in lists. For example under Components > Controls > Conditions, you can click one condition, hold the control key and select several other conditions, then press the delete key to delete them all at once. This feature applies to:

  • Profiles
  • Graphs
  • Contours
  • Selection Sets
  • Zones
  • Pressure Dependent Demand Functions
  • Unit Demands
  • Pump Definitions
  • Minor Loss Coefficients
  • GPV Headloss Curves
  • Constituents
  • Valve Characteristics
  • Controls (Controls, Conditions, Actions and Control Sets tabs)



Selection Tool for User Notifications



  • Use the new “select all elements with message ID...” button to select all elements that have the same message type as the selected notification.
  • In addition to viewing the location of these elements in the drawing pane (highlighted in red), you can also create a selection set or filter a flextable.


New Network Tracing Queries

Three new network tracing queries have been added:

  • Find path to nearest element of specified type
  • Find path to nearest upstream element of specified type
  • Find path to nearest downstream element of specified type



See Also

Product TechNotes and FAQs

OpenFlows Product Tech Notes And FAQs

Hydraulics and Hydrology Forum


External Links

Bentley SELECTservices

Bentley LEARN Server