Land-use forecasting and hydrologic model integration for improved land-use decision support

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Resource Management (REM)

Publication Date



This paper develops a methodology for integrating a land-use forecasting model with an event scale, rainfall-runoff model in support of improving land-use policy formulation at the watershed scale. The models selected for integration are loosely coupled, structured upon a common GIS platform that facilitates data exchange. The hydrologic model HEC-HMS is calibrated for a specific storm event that occurred within central Washington State. The land-use forecasting model, What If? is implemented to forecast future spatial distributions of low-density residential land-uses under low and high population growth estimates. Forecasted land-use distribution patterns for the years 2015, 2025, and 2050 are then used as land-use data input for the calibrated hydrologic model, keeping all other parameters constant. Impacts to the stream discharge hydrograph are predicted as the study area becomes increasingly developed as forecasted by What If?. The initial results of this integration process demonstrate the synergy that can be generated through the linkage of the selected models. The ability to quantifiably forecast the potential hydrologic implications of proposed land-use policies before their implementation offers land-use decision-makers a valuable tool for discerning which proposed land-use alternatives will be effective at minimizing storm water runoff.


This article was originally published in Journal of Environmental Management. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

Due to copyright restrictions, this article is not available for free download from ScholarWorks @ CWU.


Journal of Environmental Management


© 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved