Basic Hydrology

Creating hydrologic models of small watersheds for conservation bmps, leveraging the power of GIS.
Free tutorial
Rating: 4.6 out of 5 (1,413 ratings)
19,221 students
2hr 28min of on-demand video
English [Auto]

Compute peak runoff rates for rural watersheds
Compute peak runoff rates for urban watersheds
Delineate watersheds using maps and ground truthing
Understand the differences between the 3 most widely used hydrology models


  • Need to be able to download and install NRCS software
  • Need to be able to download and install the HydroCAD Sampler
  • Have either ArcGIS Desktop Advanced with Spatial Analyst Extension, or the open source QGIS


This course teaches soil and water district technicians and junior engineers how to model small watersheds for conservation and stormwater management structures. Three hydrological models are presented: EFH2, TR-20/TR-55, and the rational method. The course includes a blend of GIS and by-hand analysis methods. For the GIS portions, parallel workflows are presented for ArcGIS (Spatial Analyst extension), and for QGIS. The EFH2 software is presented for rural hydrology while HydroCAD (Free Sampler edition) is used for urban projects. The course culminates in two design examples to allow students to implement what they've learned.

Who this course is for:

  • Soil and Water District technicians with 0-2 years of experience
  • Entry level engineers working in transportation, civil/site, and agricultural disciplines


Conservation Planning, Design & Implementation across NY!
Tim Clark
  • 4.4 Instructor Rating
  • 2,247 Reviews
  • 33,017 Students
  • 5 Courses

Tim is a NY State Registered Professional Engineer with a diverse background in agricultural conservation, civil/site design, railway design, aviation design, and highway design. He is currently the State Engineer for the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee housed at the NY State Department of Agriculture and Markets, where he is dedicated to improving the planning, design, and construction of conservation practices across New York State.

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