Well, off the top of my head, I would try any combination of the following:
1. On highend there is a new plugin called: "GLU3d" I think that will help you create your realistic splashing effects.
2. For your ripples, there is a shader, a melscript, and a plugin that can do this on Highend as well.
3. And lastly, there is a tutorial on Alias|Wavefront's "How-To" section on how to make water ripples in a trough that I think would help you get started.
I'm at work right now, so, I can't get you the direct links at the moment, but if you look for them, you'll find 'em
Good luck, and let's see it when you're done!
Israel "Izzy" Long
Motion and Title Design for Broadcast-Film-DS