Applications of the SWAT Model Special Section: Overview and Insights. Academic Article uri icon


  • The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model has emerged as one of the most widely used water quality watershed- and river basin-scale models worldwide, applied extensively for a broad range of hydrologic and/or environmental problems. The international use of SWAT can be attributed to its flexibility in addressing water resource problems, extensive networking via dozens of training workshops and the several international conferences that have been held during the past decade, comprehensive online documentation and supporting software, and an open source code that can be adapted by model users for specific application needs. The catalyst for this special collection of papers was the 2011 International SWAT Conference & Workshops held in Toledo, Spain, which featured over 160 scientific presentations representing SWAT applications in 37 countries. This special collection presents 22 specific SWAT-related studies, most of which were presented at the 2011 SWAT Conference; it represents SWAT applications on five different continents, with the majority of studies being conducted in Europe and North America. The papers cover a variety of topics, including hydrologic testing at a wide range of watershed scales, transport of pollutants in northern European lowland watersheds, data input and routing method effects on sediment transport, development and testing of potential new model algorithms, and description and testing of supporting software. In this introduction to the special section, we provide a synthesis of these studies within four main categories: (i) hydrologic foundations, (ii) sediment transport and routing analyses, (iii) nutrient and pesticide transport, and (iv) scenario analyses. We conclude with a brief summary of key SWAT research and development needs.

published proceedings

  • J Environ Qual

altmetric score

  • 3.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Gassman, P. W., Sadeghi, A. M., & Srinivasan, R.

citation count

  • 291

complete list of authors

  • Gassman, Philip W||Sadeghi, Ali M||Srinivasan, Raghavan

publication date

  • January 2014