EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Eco-Hydrology Engineering Design Tool - ClearWater Capabilities - General Constituents, Nutrients, and Contaminants

Todd Steissberg, Billy Johnson, and Zhonglong Zhang
Todd Steissberg et al.
  • U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Environmental Laboratory, Davis, United States of America (

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has a major responsibility for the regulation of the Nation’s streams, rivers, and waterways. This often requires developing water quality models to resolve issues and concerns with regard to the environment and ecosystems. USACE Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is currently developing an Eco-Hydrology Engineering Design Tool supported by years of research and development. This tool development integrates ERDC’s Gridded Surface Subsurface Hydrologic Analysis (GSSHA) model and the Corps Library for Environmental Analysis and Restoration of Watersheds (ClearWater), a suite of water quality and ecosystem models.


Weather is not the only cause of flooding, stream erosion, and pollution. These problems usually occur due to human impacts on watersheds, including urban development, construction activities, hydrologic modifications, forestry, mining, and agricultural practices.


To help evaluate the impact of these serious economic and environmental issues, experts in watershed, riverine, and reservoir engineering at the ERDC developed a suite of water quality, contaminant, and vegetation modules that can be integrated with existing hydraulic and hydrologic models.


ClearWater, developed by the ERDC, LimnoTech, and Portland State University, is a library of environmental simulation software that leverages capabilities of existing water resource simulation models (e.g., HEC-RAS-1D/2D,  HEC-ResSim, GSSHA, AdH, and SWAT) to assess environmental impacts (e.g., changes in water temperature and constituent concentrations) and design solutions (e.g., constructed wetlands) to manage (e.g., modifications to reservoir operations rules) and restore aquatic ecosystems (e.g., fisheries and bird habitat). The following water quality modules are included: NSMs (Nutrient Simulation Modules I and II), TSM (Temperature Simulation Module), MSM (Mercury Simulation Module), CSM (Contaminant Simulation Module), GCSM (General Constituent Simulation Module), SSM (Solids Simulation Module), and RVSM (Riparian Vegetation Simulation Module).


This presentation will discuss current development efforts and future directions in support of an Eco-Hydrology Engineering Design Tool to support U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) ecosystem restoration and management.

How to cite: Steissberg, T., Johnson, B., and Zhang, Z.: Eco-Hydrology Engineering Design Tool - ClearWater Capabilities - General Constituents, Nutrients, and Contaminants, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-12470,, 2023.