Hydrologic Simulation Program‑FORTRAN (HSPF)

The Hydrologic Simulation Program‑FORTRAN (known as HSPF) is a mathematical model developed under the Environmental Protection Agency sponsorship to simulate hydrologic and water quality processes in natural and manmade water systems. HSPF is an analytical tool that has applications in planning, designing, and operating water-resources systems. The model enables using probabilistic analysis in the fields of hydrology and water quality management.  HSPF uses information such as the time history of rainfall; temperature; evaporation; and parameters related to land-use patterns, soil characteristics, and agricultural practices to simulate the processes that occur in a watershed.

Currently one of the most comprehensive and flexible models of watershed hydrology and water quality available, HSPF is one of only a few available models that can simulate the continuous, dynamic event, or steady-state behavior of both hydrologic/hydraulic and water quality processes in a watershed, with an integrated linkage of surface, soil, and stream processes.  The model is unique in its ability to represent the hydrologic regimes of a wide variety of streams and rivers with reasonable accuracy, and it has been applied to diverse climatic regimes all over the world.


Clients use HSPF for:

  • Flood-control planning and operations.
  • Hydropower studies.
  • River basin and watershed planning.
  • Storm drainage analyses.
  • Water quality planning and management.
  • Point- and nonpoint-source pollution analyses.
  • Soil-erosion and sediment-transport studies.
  • Urban and agricultural best management practices evaluation.
  • Fate; transport; exposure assessment; and control of pesticides, nutrients, and toxic substances.
  • Time-series data storage, analysis, and display.


Want to learn HSPF?

Click here to learn more about BASINS/HSPF training workshops.

Morrisville, North Carolina
April 16 – April 20, 2018