A scenario-based coupled SWAT-MODFLOW decision support system for advanced water resource management

A. Izady*, A. Joodavi, M. Ansarian, M. Shafiei, M. Majidi, K. Davary, A. N. Ziaei, H. Ansari, M. R. Nikoo, A. Al-Maktoumi, M. Chen, O. Abdalla

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Models provide invaluable visions to decision-makers for basin-scale management of water resources. However, decision-makers have difficulties in directly using these complex models. Water managers are primarily interested in user-friendly features allowing an integration of their judgments into the decision-making process, rather than applying detailed theories and methodologies. This knowledge gap between technical simulation models and policy-makers highlights the urgent need for developing an integrated water resource management decision support system (IWRM-DSS). This paper describes the main aspects of a new IWRM-DSS in which Microsoft Visual Studio under the C# language was employed to integrate the Microsoft SQL server as a database and ArcGIS Engine DLLs for pre/postdata processing for the SWAT and MODFLOW models. Two particular 'module' and 'presentation' shells are specifically designed for decision-makers to create four different scenarios, namely, 'climatic', 'recharge', 'discharge', and 'coupled' and to analyze the results. Decision-makers, without any detailed modeling knowledge and computer skills, can access the data and run models to test different management scenarios in an attractive graphical user interface. The IWRM-DSS, which was applied for the Neishaboor watershed, Iran, reveals that mean annual potential evapotranspiration increased to 8.2%, while runoff and recharge rates are reduced to 35 and 63%, which led to a decline of 13.5 m in mean groundwater level for the 13-year projected period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-77
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Hydroinformatics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 26 2021


  • Decision support system
  • Integrated water resource management
  • Management scenarios
  • SWAT
  • Stakeholder engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Atmospheric Science


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