JGIS  Vol.3 No.4 , October 2011
Hydrologic Modeling of the Bouregreg Watershed (Morocco) Using GIS and SWAT Model
The study of water resources at watershed scale is widely adopted as approach to manage, assess and simulate these important natural resources. The development of remote sensing and GIS techniques has allowed the use of spatially and physically based hydrologic models to simulate as simply and realistically as possible the functioning of watershed systems. Indeed, the major constraint that has hindered the expansion use of these tools was the unavailability or scarcity of data especially in the developing countries. In this context, the objective of this study is to model the hydrology in the Bouregreg basin, located at the north-central of Morocco, using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) in order to understand and determine the different watershed hydrological processes. Thus, it aims to simulate the stream flow, establish the water balance and estimate the monthly volume inflow to SMBA dam situated at the basin outlet. The ArcSWAT interface implemented in the ArcGIS software was used to delineate the basin and its sub-components, combine the data layers and edit the model database. The model parameters were analyzed, ranked and adjusted for hydrologic modeling purposes using daily temporal data series. They were calibrated using an auto-calibration method based on a Shuffled Complex Evolution Algorithm from 1989 to 1997 and validated from 1998 to 2005. Based on statistical indicators, the evaluation indicates that SWAT model had a good performance for both calibration and validation periods in Bouregreg Watershed. In fact, the model showed a good correlation between the observed and simulated monthly average river discharge with R² and Nash coefficient of about 0.8. The water balance components were correctly estimated and the SMBA dam inflow was successfully reproduced with R² of 0.9. These results revealed that if properly calibrated, SWAT model can be used efficiently in semi-arid regions to support water management policies.

Cite this paper
nullA. Fadil, H. Rhinane, A. Kaoukaya, Y. Kharchaf and O. Bachir, "Hydrologic Modeling of the Bouregreg Watershed (Morocco) Using GIS and SWAT Model," Journal of Geographic Information System, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2011, pp. 279-289. doi: 10.4236/jgis.2011.34024.
[1]   M. Sivapalan, “Process Complexity at Hillslope Scale, Process Simplicity at the Watershed Scale: Is There a Connection?” Hydrological Processes, Vol. 17, No. 5, 2003, pp. 1037-1041. doi:10.1002/hyp.5109

[2]   V. P. Singh and D. A. Woolhiser, “Mathematical Modeling of Watershed Hydrology,” Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, Vol. 7, No. 4, 2002, pp. 270-292. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)1084-0699(2002)7:4(270)

[3]   K. C. Abbaspour, “SWAT-CUP2: SWAT Calibration and Uncertainty Programs—A User Manual,” Department of Systems Analysis, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, 2008.

[4]   J. Schuol, K. C. Abbaspour, R. Srinivasan and H. Yang, “Modelling Blue and Green Water Availability in Africa at Monthly Intervals and Subbasin Level,” Water Resources Research, Vol. 44, 2008, pp. 1-18.

[5]   G. S. Shimelis, R. Srinivasan and B. Dargahi, “Hydrological Modelling in the Lake Tana Basin, Ethiopia Using SWAT Model,” The Open Hydrology Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2008, pp. 49-62. doi:10.2174/1874378100802010049

[6]   B. B. Ashagre, “SWAT to Identify Watershed Management Options: Anjeni Watershed, Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia,” Master’s Thesis, Cornell University, New York, 2009.

[7]   A. Chaponnière, G. Boulet, A. Chehbouni and M. Aresmouk, “Understanding Hydrological Processes with Scarce Data in a Mountain Environment,” Hydrological Processes, Vol. 22, No. 12, 2008, pp. 1908-1921. doi:10.1002/hyp.6775

[8]   J. G. Arnold, R. Srinivasan, R. S. Muttiah and J. R. Williams, “Large Area Hydrologic Modelling and Assessment. Part I: Model Development,” Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Vol. 34, No. 1, 1998, pp. 73-89. doi:10.1111/j.1752-1688.1998.tb05961.x

[9]   F. L. Ogden, J. Garbrecht, P. A. DeBarry and L. E. Johnson, “GIS and Distributed Watershed Models, II: Modules, Interfaces, and Models,” Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 6, No. 6, 2001, pp. 515-523. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)1084-0699(2001)6:6(515)

[10]   S. L. Neitsch, J. G. Arnold, J. R. Kiniry, J. R. Williams and K. W. King, “Soil and Water Assessment Tool Theoretical Documentation—Version 2005,” Soil and Water Research Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, Temple, 2005.

[11]   F. Nachtergaele, H. V. Velthuizen and L. Verelst. “Harmonized World Soil Database (HWSD),” UN-FAO, 2009.

[12]   A. N. Sharpley and J. R. Williams. “EPIC-Erosion Productivity Impact Calculator, Model Documentation,” US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Technical Bulletin, No. 1768, 1990.

[13]   J. Schuol and K. C. Abbaspour, “Using Monthly Weather Statistics to Generate Daily Data in a SWAT Model Application to West Africa,” Ecological Modelling, Vol. 201, No. 3-4, 2007, pp. 301-311. doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2006.09.028

[14]   M. Winchell, R. Srinivasan, M. Di Luzio and J. Arnold, “ArcSWAT 2.3.4 Interface for SWAT2005: User’s Guide, Version September 2009,” Texas Agricultural Experiment Station and Agricultural Research Service- US Department of Agriculture, Temple, 2009.

[15]   D. C. Garen and D. S. Moore, “Curve Number Hydrology in Water Quality Modeling: Uses, Abuses, and Future Directions,” Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Vol. 41, No. 2, 2005, pp. 377-388. doi:10.1111/j.1752-1688.2005.tb03742.x

[16]   G. Hargreaves and Z. A. Samani, “Reference Crop Evapotranspiration from Temperature,” Applied Engineering in Agriculture, Vol. 1, No. 2, 1985, pp. 96-99.

[17]   R. Rosso, A. Peano, I. Becchi and G. A. Bemporad, “An Introduction to Spatially Distributed Modelling of Basin Response,” Water Resources Publications, 1994, pp. 3-30.

[18]   A. Saltelli, E. M. Scott, K. Chan and S. Marian, “Sensitivity Analysis,” John Wiley & Sons Ltd., Chichester, 2000.

[19]   A. Van Griensven and W. Bauwens, “Multi-objective Auto-calibration for Semi-distributed Water Quality Models,” Water Resources Research, Vol. 39, No. 12, 2003.

[20]   M. W. Van Liew, J. G. Arnold and D. D. Bosch, “Problems and Potential of Autocalibrating a Hydrologic Model,” Transactions of the ASAE, Vol. 48, No. 3, 2005, pp. 1025-1040.

[21]   K. Beven and A. Binley, “The Future of Distributed Models—Model Calibration and Uncertainty Prediction,” Hydrological Processes, Vol. 6, No. 3, 1992, pp. 279- 298. doi:10.1002/hyp.3360060305

[22]   A. Van Griensven and T. Meixner, “Methods to Quantify and Identify the Sources of Uncertainty for River Basin Water Quality Models,” Water Science and Technology, Vol. 53, No. 1, 2006, pp. 51-59. doi:10.2166/wst.2006.007

[23]   Q. D. Duan, “Global Optimization for Watershed Model Calibration,” Water Science Applied Series, Vol. 6, 2003, pp. 89-104. doi:10.1029/WS006p0089

[24]   K. Eckhardt and J. G. Arnold, “Automatic Calibration of a Distributed Catchment Model,” Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 251, No. 1-2, 2001, pp. 103-109. doi:10.1016/S0022-1694(01)00429-2

[25]   D. Moriasi, J. G. Arnold, M. W. Van Liew, R. L. Bingner, R. D. Harmel and T. L. Veith, “Model Evaluation Guidelines for Systematic Quantification of Accuracy in Watershed Simulations,” Transactions of the ASABE, Vol. 50, No. 3, 2007, pp. 885-900.

[26]   J. E. Nash and J. V. Sutcliffe, “River Flow Forecasting through Conceptual Models, Discussion of Principles,” Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 10, No. 3, 1970, pp. 282-290. doi:10.1016/0022-1694(70)90255-6

[27]   H. V. Gupta, S. Sorooshian and P. O. Yapo, “Status of Automatic Calibration for Hydrologic Models: Comparison with Multilevel Expert Calibration,” Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, Vol. 4, No. 2, 1999, pp. 135-143. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)1084-0699(1999)4:2(135)

[28]   J. Singh, H. V. Knapp and M. Demissie, “Hydrologic Modeling of the Iroquois River Watershed Using HSPF and SWAT,” Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Vol. 41, No. 2, 2004, pp. 343-360. doi:10.1111/j.1752-1688.2005.tb03740.x

[29]   K. L. White and I. Chaubey, “Sensitivity Analysis, Calibration, and Validations for a Multisite and Multivariable SWAT Model,” Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Vol. 41, No. 5, 2005, pp. 1077-1089. doi:10.1111/j.1752-1688.2005.tb03786.x