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

Course Outline - 4 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 HEC-HMS hydrologic model
  • 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
  • Creation of professional output in the form of images, plots, and video clips
  • Preview of additional WMS Modules: EPA-SWMM, GSSHA 2D Modeling

Course Agenda


Day One:

  • Introduction and Overview
  • Images and Coordinate Systems
  • Feature Objects: Using the Map and GIS Modules
  • Linking to ArcView with the GIS Module
  • Watershed Delineation with GIS Vector Data
  • Automated Watershed Delineation with USGS DEMs
Day Two:

  • Working with Digital Terrain Data (Importing, editing, converting)
  • Using Digital Land Use and Soil Data to Compute CN and Runoff Coefficients
  • Computing Time of Concentration and Lag Time from Digital Terrain Models
  • Hydrologic Model Interfaces:
         - HEC-1
         - Rational Method
         - HEC-HMS
         - TR-55
Day Three:

  • Review of online data sources
  • Digital Terrain Preparation - LIDAR data, Digitizing, DEM Conversion
  • Creating a Water-Surface Elevation Dataset
  • Floodplain Interpolation
  • Flood Mapping - Extents, Depths
  • Hydraulic Conceptual Modeling with GIS Tools
  • Banks, Centerlines, Cross-sections, Area Properties
  • Cross-section Database Management
Day Four:

  • Generation of HEC-RAS input from Conceptual Model
  • Finalizing and Running HEC-RAS
  • Overview of Hydrologic/Hydraulic Model Linkage and Uncertainty Analysis
  • Overview of EPA-SWMM
  • Overview of 2D Hydrologic Modeling Using GSSHA
  • Summary Exercise
  • Conclusions


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 4-day course is $1595 (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 (not including subscriptions)

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 Salt Lake International Airport (SLC) or Provo Municipal Airport (PVU), then drive, take a taxi or schedule a shuttle.

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Start Date: 
February 4, 2025
End Date: 
February 7, 2025
Provo, Utah