The theory, technical details and a description of input and output files can be found in the BlueM-Wiki. For further information please refer to the list of publications. BlueM is used in different projects ranging form watershed hydrology over water quality modeling to Decision support systems.


Documentation for BlueM can be found in the BlueM-Wiki. It’s a collaborative work of past and current BlueM users. Currently the BlueM-Wiki holds pages for

Currently, we are working hard on the complete translation of the BlueM-Wiki into English.



Anpassung der Schmutzfrachtsimulation an die Anforderungen immissionsorientierter Gewässergütemodellierung
Michael Kissel, Jochen Hack, Britta Schmalz; Beiträge zum Tag der Hydrologie 2016; Wasserressourcen – Wissen in Flussgebieten vernetzen; Tag der Hydrologie 2016, Koblenz, Germany; 2016


Blueprint for a direct integration of modules for urban drainage systems into the software package BlueM and its implementation for selected modules
Michael Kissel; Master Thesis, TU Darmstadt; 2014


Analysis of intensively used catchments based on integrated modelling
Michael Bach, Manfred W. Ostrowski; Journal of Hydrology, 485 (148 – 161); 2013

BlueM – Integrated modelling of catchments with complex land use
Michael Bach; IWA, 16th International Conference on Diffuse Pollution and Eutrophication; Beijing, China; 2013


Ganzheitliche integrierte Modellierung wasserwirtschaftlicher Systeme
Frank Reußner; PhD Thesis, TU Darmstadt; 2011

Integrierte Modellierung für Einzugsgebiete mit komplexer Nutzung
Michael Bach; PhD Thesis, TU Darmstadt; 2011

Modellprädiktive Abflusssteuerung mit hydrodynamischen Kanalnetzmodellen
Steffen Heusch; PhD Thesis, TU Darmstadt; 2011

SWQM – A simple river water quality model for assessment of urban wastewater discharges
Manfred Schütze, Jens Alex, Frank Reußner; 12nd International Conference on Urban Drainage, Porto Alegre, Brazil; 2011


Model Predictive Control with SWMM
Steffen Heusch, Manfred Ostrowski; 19th Conference on Stormwater and Urban Water Systems Modeling, Toronto, Canada; 2010

Memetische evolutionäre Optimierung von Hochwasserspeichersystemen
Christoph Hübner; PhD Thesis, TU Darmstadt; 2010

Adaptive Reservoir Operation Strategies under Changing Boundary Conditions – The Case of Aswan High Dam Reservoir
Amir Mohamed Akl Mobasher; PhD Thesis, TU Darmstadt; 2010

Analysis of the time-step dependency of parameters in conceptual hydrological models
Manfred Ostrwoski, Michael Bach, Valentin Gamerith, Stefano De Simone; Report, TU Darmstadt; 2010


Optimierung von Mehrzweckspeichern im Hinblick auf Hochwasserrisiko und Ökologie
Felix Froehlich, Robert Dittmann, Manfred Ostrowski und Reinhard Pohl; Hydrologie und Wasserbewirtschaftung; 53:3 (146-153); 2009

Erhöhung der Bauwerkssicherheit und Reduktion des Hochwasserrisikos im Unterlauf durch optimierte Speicher- und Poldersteuerung unter Berücksichtigung ökologischer Belange
Manfred Ostrowski, Felix Froehlich, Reinhard Pohl, Antje Bornschein, Robert Dittmann, Stefano Gilli; Project report, TU Darmstadt; 2009

Weiterentwicklung des hessischen “Leitfadens zum Erkennen ökologisch kritischer Gewässerbelastungen durch Abwassereinleitungen”. Entwicklung einer simulationsgestützten Analyse- und Planungsmethodik
Imke Brehmer, Frank Reußner, Manfred Schütze, Dirk Muschalla, Manfred Ostrowski; KA Korrespondenz Abwasser, Abfall; 56:4 (215-217); 2009

Basin-Wide Integrated Modelling via OpenMI considering Multiple Urban Catchments
Frank Reußner, Jens Alex, Michael Bach, Manfred Schütze, Dirk Muschalla; Water Science and Technology; 60:5 (1241-1248); 2009

BlueM – a free software package for integrated river basin management
Michael Bach, Felix Froehlich, Steffen Heusch, Christoph Hübner, Dirk Muschalla, Frank Reußner, Manfred Ostrowski; Hydrologische Systeme im Wandel; Beiträge zum Tag der Hydrologie 2009; Fachgemeinschaft Hydrologische Wissenschaften in der DWA; Hennef; Heft 26.09 (109-115), ISBN: 978-3-941089-54-9; 2009


OpenMI based basin wide integrated modelling considering multiple urban areas
Frank Reußner, Dirk Muschalla, Michael Bach, Manfred Schütze, Jens Alex; 11th International conference on urban drainage (ICUD); Edinburgh, UK; 2008

Projects & Applications

BlueM has been used in a variety of projects, some of them are listed below.

nofdp – Nature oriented flood protection

logo nofdp
The nofdp project was embedded in the Interreg IIIB programme, an initiative of the European Commission aiming at the promotion of interregional cooperation within Europe. Project goal was the development of guidelines for the implementation of nature-oriented flood damage prevention. A computer-based Information & Decision Support System (IDSS) was developed to support decision makers and project managers achieving this ambitious target.

RIMAX – Risk Management of Extreme Flood Events

rimax logo
Within the framework of the RIMAX research activity funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany), BlueM.Sim and BlueM.Opt were used for the project “Improvement of dam safety and reduction of flood risk for downstream river sections using optimized operating rules for reservoirs and polders under consideration of ecological aspects”.

A framework of suitable tools was developed for analyzing flood control systems that are significantly affected by dams with new approaches that consider both ecological aspects and the safety of the dams. The methodology comprises coupled monitoring and model systems that allow for the development of dynamic operating strategies, which can render obsolete the hitherto common practice of treating operating rules and real-time control separately.

Guideline on the identification of critical pollution in water bodies through wastewater impacts

In 2012 the Federal State of Hesse published a regulative guideline for the assessment of ecological impacts of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) on receiving water bodies. In addition to the emission restrictions for CSOs and WWTPs, the new guideline poses further immission based restriction on the quantity and quality of discharged wastewater and it’s concentrations. The guideline is based on integrated and immission based modeling of both the sewer network including the WWTP and the resulting impacts including water quality processes within the receiving water bodies.

Building on developments of the Hessian pollution load model SMUSI a modeling framework was developed, where BlueM.SimR is used for the modeling of rural areas and BlueM.SimC for the modeling of receiving water bodies and water quality processes. Because this framework considers flow and storage processes of urban and rural catchment parts in detail, a better qualified identification of impacts and optimized planning of measures is possible.

Odysseus – Discrete-continuous optimization of complex dynamic water supply and urban drainage systems

Simulation and optimization methods have been employed in the area of water resources management for several decades. In particular the development of complex simulation models and their application in the context of optimal decision making is growing fast. Only in rare cases, however, there is a feedback or direct cooperation with applied mathematics. Simultaneous knowledge and developments in mathematics remain unconsidered because of missing connections. It is obvious that missing connections and integration leads to reduced knowledge.

The project “Discrete-continuous optimization of complex dynamic water supply and urban drainage systems” aimed to overcome these limitations of missing cooperation. BlueM.MPC and BlueM.Opt were used for model predictive control, the implementation of real time control and a multi criteria optimization of the hydrology-hydraulic water quality simulation model (SWMM).

IMCOP – Integrated immission based modelling of discharge and nutrient flux for catchments with complex landuse patterns

Catchments are typically formed by a patchwork of urbanized, agricultural and natural areas. Figure 1 outlines sub-systems of such a catchment. It comprises urban areas with sewer systems and wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), rural parts with natural or agricultural areas and the receiving water body.

Most integrated model approaches in the field of urban drainage consider only one sewer system and WWTP in detail. Flow and pollution information stemming from upstream agricultural, natural or urban areas are normally considered in a simplified manner and not modelled explicitly. In contrast, the representation of urban areas is not possible in most models for diffuse sources and if, urban impacts are represented in a simplified manner.

An integrated approach for catchment wide modelling was developed. The approach is based on the different sub models of Bluem.Sim for the sub systems of a river basin: Multiple urban areas including respective sewer systems, combined sewer overflows and waste water treatment plants (BlueM.SimU); rural catchments with natural or agricultural sub areas (BlueM.SimR) and the river body itself (BlueM.SimR). Thus, impacts on water quality from all sub systems can be considered and mitigation measured can be optimized throughout the whole system.