We present a method for simulating local water waves caused by obstacles in water streams for real-time graphics applications. Given a low-resolution water surface and velocity field, our method is able to decorate the input water surface with high resolution detail for the animated waves around obstacles. We construct and animate a vector representation of the waves. It is then converted to feature-aligned meshes for capturing the surfaces of the waves. Results demonstrate that our method has the benefits of real-time performance and easy controllability. The method also fits well into a state-of-the-art river animation system. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.