Hydrologic and Hydraulic Modeling with WMS

Course Description

In this hands-on, application oriented training course you will learn how to use automated hydrology and hydraulics 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 workshops, to allow participants to implement the concepts presented. Participants will gain experience in using the software to create 1) GIS-based hydrologic simulations using HEC-HMS and MODRAT.

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 will be taught by hydrologic and hydraulic modeling consultants at Aquaveo and will use the latest version of WMS.

Course Outline - 3 Days

  • Watershed delineation from digital elevation data (USGS DEMs, survey data, LiDAR 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 the HEC-HMS hydrologic model
  • Set up and use the MODRAT hydrologic model

Course Agenda


Day One:

  • Setup, Introduction, Overview
  • Background data
  • Map based delineation
  • DEM based delineation

Day Two:

  • Developing hydrologic models (computing CN and Tc values)
  • Advanced DEM Delineation
  • Rational method and NSS modeling

Day Three:

  • MODRAT Modeling-Schematic approach
  • MODRAT Modeling-GIS data approach
  • Other features available in WMS


Course instructors will be chosen from the following qualified personnel as available:

Dr. Christopher M. Smemoe - Lead WMS developer, Aquaveo, LLC. Primary developer of the WMS software, Chris is experienced in many lumped parameter and 2D hydrologic models. He also has specialized expertise in hydraulic modeling and floodplain mapping methods. Chris is the author of several published papers and has taught various professional courses on hydrologic and hydraulic modeling.

Todd Wood - is a civil engineer and surface-water modeler at Aquaveo. Todd has BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Brigham Young Univeristy. He worked for two years as a technical support associate for SMS and now works on surface-water modeling projects at Aquaveo. Todd has experience in teaching at several SMS training courses in the United States and in China.

Tom Moreland - Engineering consultant at Aquaveo and past developer of SMS; Tom has over 10 years of experience working with SMS and teaching SMS courses at locations throughout the world.


The cost of the 3-day course is $1395 (USD) per attendee. Save on all registrations made at least 30 days prior to the course. Add $100 to the price above for late registration.

Registration includes the following:

  • Instruction and hands-on use of the Watershed Modeling System (WMS)
  • Comprehensive Course Notes
  • Software CD containing the WMS software, tutorials, and documentation
  • A 30-day trial license of the full Watershed Modeling System
  • 25% Discount (up to $500.00) on the purchase of an WMS license

Training Attendee Cancellation Policy

Course Requirements

Participants may be required to provide their own computer with the following specifications:

  • Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 or Windows 10
  • 4 GB (8 GB recommended)
  • CPU: WMS software is CPU intensive. Some models and utilities can take advantage of multiple processor cores simultaneously.
  • Graphics Card: For all display features to be enabled, OpenGL 1.5 or higher must be supported. The use of a dedicated graphics card is strongly recommended. Integrated graphics can result in significantly reduced performance and may not support some visualization features.
  • 1024x768 resolution (1280x1024 or higher recommended)


Recommendations for hotels can be provided. Each attendee is responsible for their own accommodations.


Attendees should fly into the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) or a neighboring airport, then drive, take a taxi or schedule a shuttle.

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Start Date: 
June 20, 2023
End Date: 
June 22, 2023
Los Angeles, CA