Tutorial #1: Open SWAT Project

Most of the SWAT users use ArcSWAT, QSWAT or MWSWAT to create their models. The SWAT projects created with these tools could be opened directly in SWAT viewer. If you uses other tools, you could also manually create a SWAT project and open in SWAT viewer.

In this video, I will talk about how to open a SWAT project in SWAT Viewer. For your convenience, the time points for different tools was given below.

ArcSWAT         00:42

QSWAT             03:10

MWSWAT        06:30

Other Tools    09:20

SWAT Viewer uses the model input files in a SWAT project to run the simulation and the shapefiles to display result distribution on a map. All three major SWAT model creation tools (ArcSWAT, QSWAT and MWSWAT) share the similar structure and are supported by the SWAT Viewers.


An ArcSWAT project has the structure shown below. The model input files are in sub-folders of the Scenarios folder. Each sub-folder will be a scenario and could be run in SWAT Viewer. By default, there is only one scenario in default folder. There must be at least one scenario to use SWAT Viewer. The subbasin and reach shapefiles are located in Watershed/Shapes folder with name of subs1 and riv1 respectively. Both shapefiles have a subbsin attribute.

ArcSWAT Project Structure


A QSWAT project have the similar structure as shown below.

QSWAT Project Structure


The MWSWAT project is a little bit different as show below. The model input files are in the same location but the shapefiles are in the Source folder instead of the Watershed folder. The subbasin and reach shapefiles are named based on the file name of the DEM, with suffix of w and net respectively. For example, if the DEM file name is myDEM, the file name for the subbasin and reach shapefile will be myDEMw.shp and myDEMnet.shp. Another difference is that the subbasin attribute is not available in reach shapefile. SWAT Viewer will add this attribute automatically based on the relationship between subbasin and reach.

MWSWAT Project Structure

Other Tools

Models created with other tools needs to be put into a certain folder structure to be used in SWAT Viewer. That structure follows the one in ArcSWAT and QSWAT: model input files in Scenarios folder and shapefiles in Watershed/Shapes folder. This was explained in the video shown below.

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