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ARS Home » Plains Area » Temple, Texas » Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #173292


item Arnold, Jeffrey

Submitted to: Hydrological Processes
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/20/2004
Publication Date: 2/28/2005
Citation: Arnold, J.G., Fohrer, N. 2005. SWAT 2000: Current capabilities and research opportunities in applied watershed modeling. Hydrological Processes. 19(3):563-572.

Interpretive Summary: A conference was held in Giessen, Germany to discuss current developments and applications of the SWAT hydrologic and water quality model. More than 50 participants from 14 countries attended the meeting and discussed their watershed modeling experiences. As a result, a special issue of the Journal of Hydrologic Processes is being devoted to 19 papers from the conference related to watershed model development, river basin management, and the impact of land use change on water supply and quality. This paper provides an overview for the special journal issue describing SWAT model history, applications, and recent developments. This paper and others in the special issue provide the scientific and model user communities with a current status of applied watershed modeling capabilities and directions for future research.

Technical Abstract: SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) is a conceptual, continuous time model that was developed in the early 1990's to assist water resource managers in assessing the impact of management and climate on water supplies and nonpoint source pollution in watersheds and large river basins. SWAT is the continuation of over thirty years of model development within the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service and was developed to 'scale-up' past field scale models to large river basins. Model components include weather, hydrology, erosion/sedimentation, plant growth, nutrients, pesticides, agricultural management, stream routing and pond/reservoir routing. The latest version, SWAT2000, has several significant enhancements that include: bacteria transport routines; urban routines; Green and Ampt infiltration equation; improved weather generator; ability to read in daily solar radiation, relative humidity, wind speed and potential ET; Muskingum channel routing; and modified dormancy calculations for tropical areas. A complete set of model documentation for equations and algorithms, a user manual describing model inputs and outputs, and an ArcView interface manual are now complete for SWAT2000. The model has been recoded into Fortran 90 with a complete data dictionary, dynamic allocation of arrays and modular subroutines. Current research is focusing on bacteria, riparian zones, pothole topography, forest growth, channel down cutting and widening, and input uncertainty analysis. The model SWAT is meanwhile used in many countries all over the world. Recent developments in European Environmental Policy such as the adoption of the European Water Framework directive in December 2000 demand tools for integrative river basin management. The model SWAT is applicable for this purpose. It is a flexible model that can be used under a wide range of different environmental conditions, as this special issue will show. The papers compiled here are the result of the first International SWAT Conference held in August 2001 in Rauischholzhausen, Germany. More then 50 participants from 14 countries discussed their modeling experiences with the model development team from the US. Nineteen selected papers with issues reaching from the newest developments, the evaluation of river basin management, interdisciplinary approaches for river basin management, the impact of land use change, methodical aspects and models derive from SWAT are published in this special issue.