Virtual Aqualibirum Competition 2020

The ongoing pandemic has challenged us to rethink the way we do things and use the technology that is available to us for virtual event hosting. This year, we migrated the annual SAICE Western Cape (WC) Aqualibrium competition that is normally held at the UCT laboratories, online. The virtual event went live via the Microsoft Teams platform on Saturday the 15th of August 2020. Ten teams consisting of three members each from various schools within the WC region participated in the competition.

The goal of the competition was to introduce learners to the basic concepts and the design of water distribution networks (WDNs), as well as highlighting the role of civil engineers in one’s ability to open up the tap and gain access to potable water.

The virtual event saw the substitution of the traditional Aqualibirum kits with EPANET which is a public domain software used for analysing the hydraulic behaviour of Water Distribution Networks. The learners were trained to use EPANET to model a water distribution network and tasked to equally distribute water from a source reservoir to three reservoirs in the WDN. To achieve this goal, learners were provided with a generic model and were required to optimise the WDN by changing the pipe sizes in the network and were only permitted to use a combination of three pipe sizes.