Throughout the world, there is a growing need for integral water solutions. We need protection from excess water in order to live safely in delta areas and river basins. Our water systems also need to be clean and sustainable. To support water authorities, consultancy firms, research institutes and universities worldwide, Deltares offers an integrated 1D/2D modelling suite called SOBEK for integral water solutions.

SOBEK is a powerful modelling suite for flood forecasting, optimization of drainage systems, control of irrigation systems, sewer overflow design, river morphology, salt intrusion and surface water quality. The modules within the SOBEK modelling suite simulate the complex flows and the water related processes in almost any system. The modules represent phenomena and physical processes in an accurate way in one-dimensional (1D) network systems and on two-dimensional (2D) horizontal grids. It is the ideal tool for guiding the designer in making optimum use of resources.

Fields of application

SOBEK is a modelling suite designed for water authorities and water management consultancies. Is is suited for modelling and analysis of:

  • Irrigation and drainage systems / rural systems: open channel hydraulics
  • River systems
  • Sewerage and urban drainage systems (closed conduits, pipe flow)
  • Inundation and flooding scenario simulations
  • Water quality predictions
  • and the design and optimization of control systems for canal and waterway automation


SOBEK has been developed jointly with Dutch public institutes and governmental organisations, research institutes, universities and private consultants all over the world.

Integrated approach
SOBEK offers one software environment for the simulation of all management problems in the areas of river and estuarine systems, drainage and irrigation systems and waste water and storm water systems. This allows for combinations of flow in closed conduits, open channels, rivers overland flows, as well as a variety of hydraulic, hydrological and environmental processes.

Powerful simulation engine
The hydrodynamic 1D/2D simulation engine is the computational core of SOBEK. This engine allows the combined simulation of pipe, river-, channel- and overland flow through an implicit coupling of 1D and 2D flow equations. SOBEK is the ideal tool for studying the effects of dam breaks, river floods, dike breaches, urban flooding etc.

Robust numerical operations
The hydrodynamic 1D/2D simulation engine is equipped with a very robust scheme for numerical computation. It also guarantees mass conservation, even in case of transitions through suddenly varying cross section shapes. The engine combines computations of subcritical and supercritical flow, at scales selected by the user. It handles flooding and drying of channels without the use of artificial methods such as the Preissmann slot.

Numerical efficiency
The hydrodynamic 1D/2D simulation engine has a very efficient numerical solution algorithm. The algorithm is based upon the optimum combination of a minimum connection search direct solver and the conjugate gradient method. It also applies a variable time step selector, which suppresses the waste of computational time wherever this is feasible.

Size of models
The size of the model is only limited by the size of the internal memory of the computer used.


How to get SOBEK?

The latest fully validated SOBEK Suite is version 2.16.004. This version is available via our SOBEK Service Packages. You can easily order these products via and then download the software via our Download portal.

SOBEK and Delft3D Flexible Mesh

SOBEK functionality is being integrated in the Delft3D Flexible Mesh Suite. You can read more about it here.


The validation of a modelling system such as SOBEK and Delft3D FM requires continuous attention. Even though the individual modules of the suite have been thoroughly tested during their development, the suite as a whole requires intensive testing and validation too. To this end, a regular programme is established and tests of many of the most likely combinations are continually performed. As a policy, new versions are released only after an extensive beta testing period, to ensure that our users are only provided with stable and validated products.