SWAT Online: Development of a Web-Based Decision Support System for the Soil and Water Assessment Tool

Spencer Dean McDonald, Brigham Young University


As satellite and climate modelling technology continues to improve and as climatological disasters and issues continue to impact the global community, climate data will increase in size and relevance. With this new influx of information, it is becoming more and more important for scientists to simply and concisely communicate their findings to both decision makers in governments and disaster preparedness organizations and also to the general public. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is a powerful modelling tool that allows scientists to simulate essentially all of the physical processes involved in the water cycle. The data that SWAT produces can be valuable information as people strive to better plan for and understand various hydrologic events. The work presented in this thesis represents an effort to overcome some of the limitations of the previously developed SWAT visualization software by creating a set of modular web applications that can be duplicated, customized, and run by any organization or individual interested in visualizing and sharing data from SWAT. By eliminating the technical knowledge barriers that are inherent in running and using SWAT models, this work has the potential to increase SWAT’s impact on non-technically trained stakeholders and decision makers in areas where water and climate management is important.