U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

AGWA: the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment tool to inform rangeland management

Goodrich, David C., Guertin, D. Phillip, Burns, I. Shea, Nearing, Mark A., Stone, Jeffry J., Wei, Haiyan, Heilman, Philip, Hernandez, Mariano, Spaeth, Ken, Paige, Ginger B., Miller, Scott N., Kepner, William G., Ruyle, George, McClaran, Mitchel P., Weltz, Mark, Jolley, Leonard, Pierson, Fred
Rangelands 2011 v.33 no.4 pp. 41-47
range management, topography, decision support systems, rangelands, watersheds, soil erosion models, watershed hydrology, runoff, water erosion, Arizona
Do you want a relatively easy to use tool to assess rangeland soil and water conservation practices on rangeland erosion that is specifically designed to use ecological information? Effective rangeland management requires the ability to assess the potential impacts of management actions on soil erosion and sediment yield at both the hillslope and watershed scales. Many of the current tools1 for assessing and evaluating the effects of rangeland management practices on soil and water resources were originally developed for traditional cropland agricultural practices. Current technologies also do not directly utilize information at the ecological site level. Ecological Site Descriptions and associated State and Transition Models which are being adopted by a number of land management agencies. New Decision Support Tools (DSTs) that are easy-to-use, incorporate ecological concepts and rangeland management practices, use readily available data, and are designed to represent rangeland hydrologic and erosion processes are the focus of this article. The recently developed RHEM (Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model) and the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment tool (AGWA) form the foundation of this DST. RHEM is applicable at the hillslope scale. AGWA enables application of RHEM at the watershed scale, allowing assessments of larger areas.