A simple empirical stream flow prediction model for ungauged watersheds

Jose L. Chavez, Prasanna H. Gowda, Ricardo Griffin, Samuel Rivera, Christopher M.U. Neale

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Knowledge of streamflow Is important for estimating groundwater recharge rates, forecasting floods, and designing hydropower structures and irrigation systems. However, many watersheds throughout the developing world remain ungauged. This fact demands a simple hydrological model that requires minimal but globally available data for estimating monthly streamflow. In this study, data from five watersheds in Honduras were used to develop an empirical monthly streamflow model using Moisture Adequacy Index (MAI), Leaf Area Index (LAI), and watershed characteristics such as soil Infiltration rates, terrain slopes, and vegetation cover. The proposed model had an R 2 of 0.74 and was significant at the 95% confidence level. The model was verified with data from four other Honduran and one Bolivian watersheds. The streamflow model explained about 90% of the variability in the measured flow Indicating that the model may be transferable to other ungauged watersheds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event2007 ASABE Annual International Meeting, Technical Papers - Minneapolis, MN, United States
Duration: Jun 17 2007Jun 20 2007


Conference2007 ASABE Annual International Meeting, Technical Papers
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMinneapolis, MN


  • Geographic information systems
  • Hydrology
  • Runoff
  • World water and climate atlas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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