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Training Course - Hydrologic Modeling Using GIS and the Watershed Modeling System (WMS)

John Howlett

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There is still time to register for the training course "Hydrologic and Hydraulic Modeling with WMS" March 10-13, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. For more information, see


In this hands-on, application oriented training course you will learn how to use automated hydrology and hydraulic tools in the Watershed Modeling System (WMS). Upon completion of the course, you will know how to obtain and use GIS data and digital terrain data in watershed modeling, floodplain analysis and mapping. You will also learn the software tools needed to process this data, create numerical models, and generate digital watershed and flood maps.

This course will provide practical training on the use of software tools to aid in the hydrologic and hydraulic analysis and floodplain delineation. The use of the Watershed Modeling System (WMS) for watershed runoff analysis, coupled with channel hydraulics, will be the focus of the course. An integrated, GIS-based approach to hydrology, hydraulics, and mapping will be presented step-by-step, with computer worksessions, to allow participates to implement the concepts presented. Participants will gain experience in using the software to create 1) GIS-based hydrologic simulations using NFF, HEC-1 (HEC-HMS), TR-55, TR-20, or Rational Method 2) hydraulic simulations (HEC-RAS) from the hydrologic model results and GIS data. The final step will be using WMS to interpret hydraulic model results in conjunction with digital elevation data to create flood extents maps, flood inundation maps, flood depth maps, and flood impact maps.

Automated watershed delineation will be covered in detail along with application of GIS data layers to compute common hydrologic and hydraulic modeling parameters (Curve Number, Manning's roughness, Green & Ampt parameters, travel time, etc.)

Since this course will focus more on application than on theory, a knowledge of basic rainfall/runoff modeling principles is recommended, but not required. The training course is taught by the WMS developers and will use the latest version of WMS.

The 4-day course will familiarize attendees with the following topics:

* Watershed delineation from digital elevation data (USGS DEMs, survey data, etc.)

* Use of digital terrain data for basin lag time and time of concentration computations

* Data exchange with GIS systems for hydrologic model development including:

- Use of vector (basin and stream) coverages for creating model input files

- Land use and soil type coverages for composite curve number generation

* Incorporating man-made/urban interference in watershed modeling

* Set up and use of the following hydrologic models:

- HEC-1

- TR-20

- TR-55

- Rational Method

- National Flood Frequency Program (USGS Regression Equations)

* Generate HEC-RAS models from GIS and terrain data.

* Find out how to link hydrologic and hydraulic models to perform uncertainty analysis in floodplain modeling.

* Learn to create approximate (Zone A) and detailed (Zone AE,AH) FEMA flood maps

* Creation of professional output in the form of images, plots, and video clips

* Preview of additional WMS Modules: StormDrain, GSSHA 2D modeling

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