Soil & Water Assessment Tool (SWAT)


General Information:

Author: Texas A&M University

Year of publication: No information

Available languages: English

Details of Assessment:

Type of assessment: Not specified

Details: Broader scope with climate as one of the dimensions. Scale model used to simulate the quality and quantity of surface and ground water and predict the environmental impact of land use, land management practices and climate change

Format of assessment: Software

Estimated costs for conducting: Open source

Estimated duration of assessment: No information

To be carried out by whom: Multiple actors

Details: Mostly sector experts and scientists

Institutional scale of use: Local/community

Details: Small watershed to river basins

Assesment to be used by which target audience: Multiple actors

Details: Research community, local decision makers, project developers

Output: Report


Coverage & Methodology:

Region of origin: North America

Developed by which sector: Science

Applied in practice: Yes

Geographic coverage in analysis: Worldwide

Potential geographic coverage: Worldwide

Sectors covered: Water sector, Agriculture

Method used: Quantitative model

Description of methodology: SWAT uses a two-level dissagregation scheme. A preliminary subbasin identification is carried out based on topographic criteria, followed by further discretization using land use and soil type considerations. Areas with the same soil type and land use form a Hydrologic Response Unit (HRU), a basic computational unit assumed to be homogeneous in hydrologic response to land cover change

Risk framework used: No explicit use of risk framework

Risk components incorporated: No information

Details: Not specified

Hazards and impacts considered in the assessment: Water scarcity, Changing precipitation patterns, Extreme rainfall, Flood

Source of required data: Secondary (available data is used)

Details: Data on elevation, land use, soils, weather (precipitaion and temperature), management decisions, as well as additional watershed info such as reservoirs. All inputs need to be SWAT-formatted input files

Temporal scale: Forward looking

Participatory elements: No

Consideration of interconnectedness and -dependencies of risks: No information

Adressing uncertainty: Yes

Details: Specific to each study that uses and adjusts the SWAT tool, but sensitivity or uncertainty analysis possible

Scope of assessment: Identification of risks, assessment of impacts

Relevance for losses and damages:

Economic/Non-Economic losses incorporated: No information

Applicability for entire risk spectrum (from extreme weather events to slow onset processes): No information


Recommendations for Adaptation measures included in Climate Risk Assessment: No

Usefulness for political purposes: Climate funds

Applied by whom: Multiple authors

Open access: Yes