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Environmental Modeling Community of Practice

BASINS Plugins

BASINS 4.5 Core

BASINS 4.5 Core now contains only the core functionality of BASINS. Additional functionality is provided by a framework of plugins. All Model Plug-ins (U.S. EPA supported and third-party plugins) are packaged and installed separately. A list of Model Plug-ins, along with a short description of its function, is provided below and in the User’s Manual. WinHSPF, LSPC,  and WASP model plug-ins will continue to be supported and maintained by U.S. EPA.  The remaining third-party model plug-ins are available for installation but will not be supported or maintained by U.S. EPA.


Watershed Model plug-ins:

  • WinHSPF is an interface to the Hydrological Simulation Program Fortran (HSPF). HSPF is a watershed scale model for estimating instream concentrations resulting from loadings from point and nonpoint sources (U.S. EPA supported).
  • SWAT is a physical based, watershed scale model that was developed to predict the impacts of land management practices on water, sediment and agricultural chemical yields in large complex watersheds with varying soils, land uses and management conditions over long periods of time.  SWAT2005 is the underlying model that is run from the BASINS MapWindow interface.
  • SWMM is a dynamic rainfall-runoff simulation model used for single event or long-term (continuous) simulation of runoff quantity and quality from primarily urban areas.  The routing portion of SWMM transports this runoff through a system of pipes, channels, storage/treatment devices, pumps, and regulators.
  • LSPC is the Loading Simulation Program in C++, a watershed modeling system that includes streamlined Hydrologic Simulation Program Fortran (HSPF) algorithms for simulating hydrology, sediment, and general water quality on land as well as a simplified stream transport model. LSPC is derived from the Mining Data Analysis System (MDAS), which was developed by EPA Region 3 and has been widely used for mining applications and TMDLs.

Instream / Water Quality Models:

  • AQUATOX is a simulation model for aquatic systems that predicts the fate of various pollutants, such as nutrients and organic chemicals, and their effects on the ecosystem, including fish, invertebrates, and aquatic plants (U.S. EPA supported).
  • WASP is a dynamic compartment-modeling program for aquatic systems, including both the water column and the underlying benthos (U.S. EPA supported).

Loading models:

  • GWLF-E, an extension of the Generalized Watershed Loading Function (GWLF) model. GWLF-E is a ‘mid-level’ model that estimates monthly nutrient and sediment loads within a watershed.
  • PLOAD, a pollutant loading model. PLOAD estimates nonpoint sources of pollution on an annual average basis, for any user-specified pollutant, using either the export coefficient or simple method approach.