Many regions are facing formidable freshwater management challenges. Allocation of limited water resources, environmental quality and policies for sustainable water use are issues of increasing concern. Conventional supply-oriented simulation models are not always adequate.

Over the last decade, an integrated approach to water development has emerged that places water supply projects in the context of demand-side issues, water quality and ecosystem preservation and protection. WEAP incorporates these values into a practical tool for water resources planning.

WEAP is distinguished by its integrated approach to simulating water systems and by its policy orientation. WEAP places the demand side of the equation – water use patterns, equipment efficiencies, reuse, costs and allocation – on an equal footing with the supply side – streamflow, groundwater, reservoirs and water transfers. WEAP thus provides a laboratory for examining alternative water development and management strategies.

WEAP is comprehensive, straightforward and easy-to-use, and attempts to assist rather than substitute for the skilled planner. As a database, WEAP provides a system for maintaining water demand and supply information. As a forecasting tool, WEAP simulates water demand, supply, runoff, streamflows, storage, pollution generation, treatment and discharge, and instream water quality. As a policy analysis tool, WEAP evaluates a full range of water development and management options, and takes into account multiple and competing uses of water systems.

To see a full list of publications that use WEAP – including those produced outside of SEI – see the publications page of the external WEAP website.

The Sacramento Water Allocation Model enables policy-makers to weigh difficult trade-offs in water use, by simulating a complex water system in the US.