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ARS Home » Plains Area » Temple, Texas » Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #332543

Title: Introduction to SWAT+, a completely restructured version of the soil and water assessment tool

item BIEGER, KATRIN - Texas Agrilife Research
item Arnold, Jeffrey
item RATHJENS, HENDRIK - Purdue University
item White, Michael
item BOSCH, DAVID - Purdue University
item ALLEN, PETER - Baylor University
item VOLK, MARTIN - Baylor University
item SRINIVASAN, RAGHAVAN - Texas A&M University

Submitted to: Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/24/2016
Publication Date: 2/1/2017
Citation: Bieger, K., Arnold, J.G., Rathjens, H., White, M.J., Bosch, D.D., Allen, P.M., Volk, M., Srinivasan, R. 2017. Introduction to SWAT+, a completely restructured version of the soil and water assessment tool. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 53(1):115-130.

Interpretive Summary: The SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) model is currently being used around the world for environmental and conservation assessments. However, several limitations of the model have been reported in the scientific literature. To address these limitations, the model was restructed into a modular framework and the revised model referred as SWAT+. In this study, SWAT+ was tested on the ARS-Little River Experimental Watershed in Tifton, Georgia, with good agreement between measured and simulated streamflow. The modular code will improve development and maintenance, data availability, output analysis and visualization, and enhance the models ability to represent water transport across the landscape. SWAT+ will improve the USDA-CEAP (Conservation Effects Assessment Program) accuracy and capabilities, and other international environmental assessments.

Technical Abstract: SWAT+ is a completely revised version of SWAT that was developed to face present and future challenges in water resources modeling and management and to meet the needs of the growing worldwide user community. SWAT+ addresses several of the limitations of the model reported in the large body of peer-reviewed literature. It is expected to improve code development and maintenance, to support data availability, analysis and visualization, and to enhance the model’s capabilities in terms of the spatial representation of elements and processes within watersheds. The most important change is the implementation of landscape units and flow and pollutant routing across the landscape. A first application of SWAT+ to the Little River Experimental Watershed (LREW) indicates that the new version of the model provides good simulations of water balance and streamflow, but some problems reported in previous publications about SWAT applications in the LREW persist in the SWAT+ simulations. However, the model setup used for this study does not include any overland routing. Taking full advantage of the new capabilities of SWAT+ in terms of watershed discretization is expected to solve some of those problems. While many existing capabilities of SWAT have already been enhanced in SWAT+ and new capabilities have been added, the model will continue to evolve in response to advancements in scientific knowledge and the demands of the growing worldwide user community.