Standard Article

129 Rainfall-Runoff Modeling for Integrated Basin Management

Part 11. Rainfall-Runoff Modeling

  1. George Leavesley

Published Online: 15 APR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470848944.hsa136

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

How to Cite

Leavesley, G. 2006. Rainfall-Runoff Modeling for Integrated Basin Management. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 11:129.

Author Information

  1. United States Geological Survey, Denver, CO, US

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2006


Integrated basin management is concerned with the interactions of physical, ecological, economic, and social systems as they affect the operation, planning, and policy making processes inherent in the management of land and water resources. Systems of integrated hydrological, chemical, biological, ecological, and socioeconomic models are typically used to assess the effects of proposed management alternatives on basin resources, or to manage basin resources in real time. Water is a common thread linking many of the components among these models. The ability to adequately simulate rainfall-runoff processes and their interactions with processes related to other system components significantly affects the integrated system results. Model complexity and compatibility, data availability, and a number of error sources that include data, model parameters, and model structure, are major concerns in the use of integrated modeling systems. The effects of these error sources on the uncertainty in simulation results become even more complex in integrated system application in which output from one model is typically used as input to other models. The number and complexity of available integrated modeling systems represent a wide variety of approaches with different models, operational features, user interfaces, data formats, and analytical tools. For this review, integrated modeling systems have been characterized as using either a (i) dedicated-system approach with a predefined set of models or (ii) modeling-framework approach that typically enables the application of a user-selected set of models. A number of available integrated systems within these two classifications are described and an example of application of a modular-framework approach is presented.


  • hydrological models;
  • ecological models;
  • water-quality models;
  • modeling frameworks;
  • water management;
  • resource management;
  • uncertainty