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UW Short Course



WATFLOOD participation in FloodNet

June/17 Dr. Trish Stadnyk is an investigator and Dr. Nicholas Kouwen is a collaborator in the FloodNet research program

With their involvement, it ensured that WATFLOOD will be one of the models considered and evaluated for flood forecasting in Canada. Unlike most hydrologicl models, WATFLOOD was designed from the ground up as a flood forecasting system. With Green Kenue as a post processor, flood conditions can be easily visualized in time & space. Please see the posters presented at the 2017 FloodNet AGM in Montreal downloads/FloodNet_NK_poster.pdf  downloads/Floodnet_4DM_poster.pdf

New Isotope Modelling Manual

June/17. An isotope model has been embedded in WATFLOOD/CHARm to address the equifinality problem in hydrological modelling, isoWATFLOOD manual.pdf New Flood Forecasting Manual

New Flood Forecasting Manual

March/17 A new set of WATFLOOD programs and accompanying manual have been written to allow the automatic downloading of the CMC Regional and Global numerical weather forecasts in GRIB2 format; converting these to text (r2c format) files in Green Kenue; and then extracting the relevant date into WATFLOOD compatible files for a forecasting domain. The programs and manual are still Beta status.  Flow_Forecasting_Manual.pdf

Code repository: To ensure the long-term viability of the WATFLOOD code and its safety, a code repository has been set up at the University of Waterloo in the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering. This repository is financially supported by Manitoba Hydro and  the Canadian Water Resources Association. Users of the model can support the repository directly through the University of Waterloo. (Contact

The repository is available for the safekeeping of other Canadian hydrological model code.

There's help!!! For those in dire straights, you can now join the Watflood bulletin board and get help:

WATFLOOD and GreenKenue are now free!!!! (support is not if you are not a student)

Feb. 2009 Wayne Jenkinson completed his PhD and is now a Senior Engineer at the National Research Council -Canadian Hydraulics Centre in Ottawa. His thesis may be downloaded from

Nov. 25/08 The WATFLOOD manual now has bookmarks making it easier to find topics.

Sept./08 Trish Stadnyk  completes her PhD and is now Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba. Her thesis may be downloaded from:

New tracer module written by Trish Stadnyk  now part of WATFLOOD,   See example for the Eramosa River: eramosa.JPG  (32Kb)

WATROUTE executables have been added to the Downloads Page.  Sept. 25/08

Recent upgrades to WATFLOOD:

New: Dec. 07/11 The pesky floating point error message can really mess up the routing and is due to a computational problem with coupled wetlands. The algorithm has been changed to have a more demanding convergence criteria and the problem seems to have gone away. In the past, this problem was corrected with lower wetland conductivity.

New: Nov. 18/11 A new parameter fratio has been added to the parameter file. fratio has a value for each land cover class and is used to multiply each monthly interception capacity of the corresponding land cover class. It can be optimized with DDS.

New: Oct. 18/11 Programs using the par.csv file now have a parser to read this file. This will make it much easier to make files backward compatible when new parameters are added. Please see the manual for details.

New: Jul. 13/11 You can now use a daily sublimation rate  in mm/day instead of an across the board sublimation fraction of the total snowfall. Use the key word sublim_rate instead of sublim_fraction.

New: Mar. 01/11 A new parameter file format is now incorporated in the WATFLOOD model. Please switch from the old par file format to the new par.csv format ASP. The old format will not be supported in future revisions. A new format par.csv file is automatically created every time splx?? is run if an old format file is used.

With the new par.csv file, the snow cover depletion file is now incorporated in the par file and is no longer used. However, a new file monthly_climate_normals.txt file is now required in the basin directory. This file is also automatically created.

The new format par.csv files can and should be edited in EXCELTM  This setup is a great improvement over the old formats. They are easier to edit and understand.

New: Feb. 2/11 You can now do a sensitivity analysis of all optimizable parameters. Simply set ddsflg = -1 and answer the questions when running the model. You can elect to work with only the 6 routing parameters or 12 hydrological parameters. The number of runs required = 6 * # river classes + 12 * # land cover classes. Probably 3-5 years of data is sufficient.

Jan. 11/11 You can now make a shd file for multiple sub-watersheds from a map file for a large domain. For instance, if you modelling something like the Great Lakes, you can extract the shd file and reduce the size of the precip and temperature grids for a number of sub-watersheds, for example, the 8 watersheds along the east and north shore of Lake superior. This way you can speed up optimization by concentrating on just the dominant land covers in that area. Contact NK for details. The programs are bsn_beta and splx_b - see the Executables link.

Aug. 30/10 64 bit version of SPLX for 64 bit Windows 7 is now available - Check the Executables link. (The 32 bit version will run on 64 bit Windows 7). Execution time seems to be about half compared to running in 32 bit XP.

Apr. 07.10 the precip & temperature distribution programs RAGMET.exe and TMP.exe have been modified to run all the events listed in the event file in one run. Batch files are no longer needed. The precip distribution program now can include a radius of influence and a smoothing coefficient.

Apr. 07/10 A coupler for the Dynamically Dimensioned Search DDS optimization algorithm is now part of WATFLOOD

Jan. 29/09 New lake & reservoir routing and diversion capabilities have been added involving  new files for initial lake levels & datums and diversion flows respectively. Wetlands can be split in to bogs & fens (hydraulically uncoupled and coupled to channel hydraulics). Please see the Manual for details.

July 10/08 - The WATFLOOD manual has been updated to include the step-by-step instructions to set up a new watershed using ENSIM Chapter 17. This set of instructins was used for a 2 day workshop at Quebec Hydro in June 08.

July 10/08 - BSN.exe has been revised to make the creation of the new_ch_par.r2c optional. It is needed only for WATROUTE - not WATFLOOD or MESH.

July 4/08 - RAGMET.exe and TMP.exe have been converted to read tb0 files. (They still read the old .rag & .tag files also)

June 4/08 - Initial reservoir levels and an elevation-storage function can now be given for controlled reservoirs (i.e. reservoirs where outflows are specified as releases. See Section 7.2.2 in the Manual.

Always download CHARMnnn & BSNnnn together: Please note also that occasionally new items are added to the wfo_spec.txt file for GreenKenue presentation. These are indicated as a new revision and if you happen to download a new SPLX.exe or SPLD.exe file that requires a new wfo_spec.txt file, you will be reminded with an error message. Simply download the current BSN.EXE file and recreate the wfo_spec.txt file.

Please note that all files except the event.evt file are now free-format - i.e. space delimited data. There IS a price for this. Before, with formatted files, blanks were read as zeros. Now just the next data found in the file is read in. So, you CAN NOT leave blanks in lines of data other than to separate data items!!!!!

Please see the Manual for earlier update history.

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