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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Goodrich, David - Dave
item Scott, S.
item Hernandez, M.
item Burns, I.
item Levick, L.
item Cate, A.
item Kepner, W.
item Semmens, D.
item Miller, S.
item Guertin, D.

Submitted to: Federal Interagency Hydrologic Modeling Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/2/2006
Publication Date: 7/15/2006
Citation: Goodrich, D.C., Scott, S., Hernandez, M., Burns, I.S., Levick, L.R., Cate, A., Kepner, W., Semmens, D., Miller, S.N., Guertin, D.P. 2006. Automated geospatial watershed assessment (AGWA): a gis-based hydrologic modeling tool for watershed management and landscape assessment. Proc. 3rd Fed. Interagency Hydrologic Modeling Conf., April 2-6, 2006. Reno, Nevada. 2006 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: When water quantity or water quality is of interest, watersheds are a natural organizing unit in our landscape. Watersheds gather rainfall, infiltrated water, and runoff and typically discharge that water at a stream location or into a body of water such as a lake or estuary. The pathways and processes that affect runoff generation from a watershed result from a complex interaction of the climate, topography, soils, land cover, and land use. Numerous computer models have been developed in to estimate how a watershed produces runoff from rainfall and snowfall. The KINEROS2 and SWAT models are two such examples. These models often require significant data preparation and input to use them. To expedite this task we have developed the AGWA (Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment hydrologic modeling tool (see: This tool uses nationally available spatial data sets to setup, run, and display the results from KINEROS2 and SWAT. With AGWA and these watershed models, natural resource managers, engineers, and scientists can estimate runoff and places in the watershed that may be prone to flood damage or water quality problems. These users can also evaluate how conservation measures and changes in land use practices might improve water quality. This paper provides an overview of the AGWA tool with selected examples of its application for a variety of uses.

Technical Abstract: The Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA, see: tool is a GIS interface jointly developed by the USDA-ARS, US-EPA, U. Arizona, and U. Wyoming to automate the parameterization and execution of the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and KINEmatic Runoff and EROSion (KINEROS2) hydrologic models. AGWA uses commonly available, national, GIS data layers to fully parameterize, execute, and visualize results from both the SWAT and KINEROS2. Through an intuitive interface the user selects an outlet from which AGWA delineates and discretizes the watershed using a Digital Elevation Model (DEM). The watershed model elements are then intersected with soils and land cover data layers to derive the requisite model input parameters. The chosen model is then run, and the results are imported back into AGWA for visual display. This allows managers to identify potential problem areas where additional monitoring can be undertaken or mitigation activities can be focused. AGWA can difference results from multiple simulations to examine relative change over a variety of input scenarios (e.g. climate/storm change, land cover change, present conditions and alternative futures). The AGWA tool is being further developed for online decision support. and user groups. In addition, a variety of new capabilities have been incorporated into AGWA. An overview of AGWA’s capabilities will be presented.

Last Modified: 06/26/2017
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