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Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) Tool

Investigative tool for hydrologic modeling and watershed assessments

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The Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) tool is a geographic information systems (GIS) interface designed to help manage and analyze watershed water quantity and quality. Accommodating novice to expert GIS users, it is designed to be used by watershed, water resource, land use, and resource managers and scientists investigating the hydrologic impacts of land-cover/land-use change in small watershed to basin-scale studies.

Software and Compatibility

AGWA is publicly available for download in several different versions depending on GIS software platform: AGWA 1.5 for ArcView 3.x, AGWA 2.x for ArcGIS 9.x, and AGWA 3.x for ArcGIS 10.x. AGWA requires an active Spatial Analyst extension corresponding to the ESRI software used.

Year Description
2011 AGWA 3.x Add-in for ArcGIS 10.5Exit


AGWA requires Microsoft Windows, an internet connection and the following downloads:

  • ArcGIS or ArcView—Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)* ArcGIS 10.x, ArcGIS 9.x or ArcView 3.x
  • AGWA Add-In/Extension—includes the AGWA user interface and functionality to set up the models
  • AGWA Directory—includes the KINEROS2 and SWAT models
  • GIS Data—the downloaded necessary data can be added into ArcGIS or ArcView and used in AGWA via the AGWA input forms
    • Digital Elevation Model
    • Raster land cover/land use map
    • Soil data
    • Optional precipitation data

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AGWA conducts hydrologic modeling and runoff assessments at multiple temporal and spatial scales. It is designed to provide qualitative estimates of runoff and erosion relative to landscape change. The tool provides a visual display of results, and information that can help decision-makers identify potential problem areas that may need additional monitoring or mitigation actions. AGWA can generate alternative future land-use/cover scenarios and display differences between simulation outputs (potential change) designed to provide decision support when combined with planning efforts.

AGWA uses standardized spatial data sets readily available online. The data are used to develop input parameter files for two watershed runoff and erosion models: the Kinematic Runoff and Erosion (KINEROS2) hydrologic model and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT).

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AGWA is designed for watershed, water resource, land use, and resource managers and scientists investigating the hydrologic impacts of land cover/land use change in small watershed to basin-scale studies. It provides solutions to overcome the complex, spatially explicit regional problems that arise with planning and assessment in land and water resource management. AGWA can compute runoff and erosion at different spatial and temporal scales in an easy-to-use format for resource managers.

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Technical Support

AGWA was developed through a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Southwest Watershed Research Center and EPA's Office of Research and Development, and was later expanded to include the University of Arizona and the University of Wyoming.

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