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Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) Tool for hydrologic modeling and watershed assessment


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. Developed by EPA, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service, and the University of Arizona, the tool is designed to provide qualitative estimates of runoff and erosion relative to landscape change.

AGWA uses standardized spatial datasets 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).


AGWA conducts hydrologic modeling and runoff assessments at multiple temporal and spatial scales. 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 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.

AGWA 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.

System Requirements

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

  • Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)* ArcGIS 10.x, ArcGIS 9.x or ArcView 3.x;
  • AGWA add-in/extension, which includes the AGWA user interface and functionality to set up the models;
  • AGWA Directory, which includes the KINEROS2 and SWAT models; and
  • GIS data
    • Digital Elevation Model
    • Raster land cover/land use map
    • Soil data
    • Optional precipitation data

Once the necessary data have been downloaded, it can be added into ArcGIS or ArcView and used in AGWA via the AGWA input forms.

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*Mention of commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.