WaterCourse™ Design

WaterCourse Design Software

WaterCourse software enables the design of fully functional water flow, both above and below the surface, through easily created visualizations of terrain in contour maps, watershed maps, and Google terrain maps. WaterCourse is a dynamic design tool for in-office use: The entire design is live throughout the development process. Every line drawn is movable, and interdependencies are included. If one breakline is moved, all joined mains and lateral move along. As with any design software, accuracy is relative to the parameters, and AMW WaterCourse includes more parameters to manipulate–as well as automatic detection of parameter violations.

Simple click-and-drag controls encourage experimentation to find the best possible water flow either through surface shaping and drains or through a tile system.

WaterCourse Design Software Function

WaterCourse software has a version for above-ground and tile system design, and a third and fourth version include both surface and tile design capabilities for agricultural or construction sites.

WaterCourse Contour mapWith WaterCourse Tile Design™, you can experiment with optimal tile systems without moving a foot of dirt. A digital elevation model is created based on GPS sampling of a field. A contour map is automatically created, based on the digital elevation model. The user can specify the desired difference in elevation between contour lines; the intervals between contour lines can be adjusted to be appropriate to the irregularity of the terrain. The contour map, with color-coded elevations, provides a clear visual guide to the natural movement of water and the best placement of tiles.

WaterCourse Watershed mapWatersheds are calculated based on the digital elevation model created with GPS sampling of field elevations. The user can set an accumulation threshold; this threshold is the amount of water needed to define a watershed. Adjusting this setting will delineate finer or more coarse watersheds. The visual representation of watersheds informs the user as to the best places to lay tile.

WaterCourse Outlets mapWaterCourse Tile Design supports the design of precise water management tiling systems. By overlaying a tile design and watershed outlets on a digital elevation model, it’s clear where water will naturally collect or flow. This is especially helpful in integrating water movement in a field or property with existing county drains. The digital elevation model is constructed using GPS data. The user can specify inventories of tile sizes; tiles are automatically sized for lowest cost based on industry standards.

WaterCourse Google Map layerWith the Google Map layer turned on, the user can augment the tile design, digital elevation model, watershed map, and contour map. This capability provides additional visual data to check for trees, streams, landmarks, or other elements that could influence the success of the design or its implementation. The Google Map layer can be more or less transparent, as needed, and labels can be added to clearly communicate the plan.

WaterCourse Field Design equips the user to design effective surface drainage systems.

With WaterCourse Dual Designthe agricultural user can design systems for water flow and drainage both above and below the surface, with the features of both Field and Tile Design. For a large or small scale construction site, WaterCourse Site Design™ provides highly accurate surface and subsurface water management system design.

Software Function

WaterCourse imports and displays data from various file types, including topographic files (SVY, NEZ, FBG), Shapefiles (SHP), Lidar files (LAS), ESRI grids (GRD, BGD, ASC, ARC, DEM), GeoTIFF (TIF, TIFF), Multiplane (TXT), Apex (CSV), and images (BMP, GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG). Thinning options support the import of large data sets in Lidar files. Data is accepted in latitude/longitude, UTM, and State Plane coordinate systems, as well as meters, U.S. Survey Feet, and International Feet.

Data points collected on surfaces that change over time, including Start of Day and End of Day measurements, are analyzed through precise volume calculations, grid comparisons and surface comparisons. Support for integrated slope sensors adds to the accuracy and usefulness of these interpretations.

As fully functional design software, WaterCourse has standard drawing and zooming capabilities (zoom in, zoom out, pan, show all), as well as “undo” functionality and rack-and-stack positioning of drawing labels. It has mouse wheel and printing support.

Reports based on the design can be automatically generated, and data can be exported for field use as Topographic files (NEZ, FBG), AMW plan files (PLN), AMW drawing files (DRW), image files (BMP, GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, TIF, TIFF), or Shapefiles (SHP).

Working with Other AMW Software Products

The user can import data from AMW Topo and export to AMW Pipe or Ditch for implementation or installation.

Technical Specifications

Runs on Windows XP and above.

Learning to Use WaterCourse Design

youtube-transparent-logoOnline tutorials are available that demonstrate screen navigation, adding survey data layers, managing inventory and parameter groups, drawing tile layouts, designing successful tile systems, and sharing and exporting system designs. Training is available through participating dealers.


Improve your flow with WaterCourse. Locate a dealer near you or contact AMW Machine Control.