Assessing hydrological modeling approaches: a review of the soil conservation service curve number and the soil and water assessment tool

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Farhad Osman Omer
Azad Rasul


This article reviews two hydrological modeling tools, the Soil Conservation Service Curve Number (SCS-CN) model and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), and the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method used for estimating surface runoff and evaluating the impacts of land use changes on watershed responses. The SCS-CN model has been widely used for estimating surface runoff from rainfall, and its integration with GIS and remote sensing has improved its accuracy and precision. The SWAT model has also been effective in assessing the impact of land cover and land use changes on hydrologic response. The AHP method has been used to suggest the best locations for rainfall water harvesting in arid regions. However, these models also have limitations that should be considered when applying them to different watersheds. Proper calibration and validation of the models' input parameters are crucial to ensure accurate results, and the models' performance can be affected by uncertainties in the input data and model parameterization. Despite these limitations, these tools remain useful for evaluating surface runoff and its impact on water resource management, flood control, erosion prevention, and sustainable land and water management practices. In conclusion, the SCS-CN model, SWAT model, and AHP method are important approaches to evaluate surface runoff and its impacts, but their limitations and suitability for different watersheds should be carefully considered.

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Omer, F. O., & Rasul, A. (2023). Assessing hydrological modeling approaches: a review of the soil conservation service curve number and the soil and water assessment tool. Advanced GIS, 3(2), 47–52. Retrieved from


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