I would have bet good money that this kind of fluid simulation wouldn’t have been practical for another few years. This is a link to the gallery of movie clips at Scanline, which appears to be a German computer visual effects company. What they have to show off are various kinds of liquids in motion, and the results are amazing.
Water is notoriously difficult to get right in the movies… your eye is very good at detecting any weirdness in the behavior of badly animated water. As a result, up till now, all movies about naval battles and storms at sea were filmed with little models in great big swimming pools agitated by wind machines and small explosives. Even though, in such cases, the water is real, the waves are the wrong size relative to the little models, and it just looks awful. What the Scanline people are showing is that there are no more excuses for bad water physics in movies. Whenever they make the movie “Tsunami!”, I predict it will be darn disturbing.