This study is an evaluation of the calibration and validation of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) version 2005 watershed model for the Mustang Creek Basin, San Joaquin Valley, California. The study is part of a national study on the process of agricultural chemical movement through the hydrologic system, which is being done by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment program. The SWAT model was used to simulate streamflow in the Mustang Creek Basin on the basis of a set of model inputs derived and modified from various data sources.
The 2005 version of the model was calibrated for 29 days in February 2004, and validated for 58 days in January and February 2005. Measured streamflow for a USGS gaging station was used for model calibration and validation. Results of the simulated monthly streamflow had a Nash Sutcliffe efficiency value of 0.72 during the calibration period. The 2005 version of the model was unsuccessful in simulating streamflow during the validation period, as indicated by a Nash Sutcliffe efficiency value of 0.33. This lack of a successful simulation probably is due to the limited amount of measured streamflow data available for calibration, the ephemeral nature of flows in Mustang Creek, and the fact that the SWAT model was developed primarily for long time period (2 years and more) simulations and not for limited monthly simulations as used in Mustang Creek.