Also known as
Model type Single
Model part of larger framework
Note on status model
Date note status model
Incorporated models or components:
Spatial dimensions
Spatial extent
Model domain Hydrology, Terrestrial
One-line model description Distributed Routing Rainfall-Runoff Model--version II
Extended model description DR3M is a watershed model for routing storm runoff through a Branched system of pipes and (or) natural channels using rainfall as input. DR3M provides detailed simulation of storm-runoff periods selected by the user. There is daily soil-moisture accounting between storms. A drainage basin is represented as a set of overland-flow, channel, and reservoir segments, which jointly describe the drainage features of the basin. This model is usually used to simulate small urban basins. Interflow and base flow are not simulated. Snow accumulation and snowmelt are not simulated.


Name Geological Survey U.S.
Type of contact Project manager
Institute / Organization U.S. Geological Survey
Postal address 1
Postal address 2
Town / City Reston
Postal code 20192
State Virginia
Country United States
Email address

Supported platforms
Unix, Windows
Other platform
Programming language


Other program language
Code optimized
Multiple processors implemented
Nr of distributed processors
Nr of shared processors
Start year development 1972
Does model development still take place? No
If above answer is no, provide end year model development 1996
Code development status
When did you indicate the 'code development status'?
Model availability As code
Source code availability
(Or provide future intension)
Through web repository
Source web address
Source csdms web address
Program license type Other
Program license type other --
Memory requirements --
Typical run time --

Describe input parameters Daily precipitation, daily evapotranspiration, and short-interval precipitation are required. Short-interval discharge is required for the optimization option and to calibrate the model. These time series are read from a WDM file. Roughness and hydraulics parameters and sub-catchment areas are required to define the basin. Six parameters are required to calculate infiltration and soil-moisture accounting. Up to three rainfall stations may be used. Two soil types may be defined. A total of 99 flow planes, channels, pipes, reservoirs, and junctions may be used to define the basin.
Input format
Other input format
Describe output parameters The computed outflow from any flow plane, pipe, or channel segment for each storm period may be written to the output file or to the WDM file. A summary of the measured and simulated rainfall, runoff, and peak flows is written to the output file. A flat file containing the storm rainfall, measured flow (if available), and simulated flow at user selected sites can be generated. A flat file for each storm containing the total rainfall, the measured peak flow (if available), and the simulated peak flow for user-selected sites can be generated.
Output format
Other output format
Pre-processing software needed? No
Describe pre-processing software
Post-processing software needed? No
Describe post-processing software
Visualization software needed? No
If above answer is yes
Other visualization software

Describe processes represented by the model The rainfall-excess components include soil-moisture accounting, pervious-area rainfall excess, impervious-area rainfall excess, and parameter optimization. The Green-Ampt equation is used in the calculations of infiltration and pervious area rainfall excess. A Rosenbrock optimization procedure may be used to aid in calibrating several of the infiltration and soil-moisture accounting parameters. Kinematic wave theory is used for both overland-flow and channel routing. There are three solution techniques available: method of characteristics, implicit finite difference method, and explicit finite difference method. Two soil types may be defined. Overland flow may be defined as turbulent or laminar. Detention reservoirs may be simulated as linear storage or using a modified-Puls method. Channel segments may be defined as gutter, pipe, triangular cross section, or by explicitly specifying the kinematic channel parameters alpha and m.
Describe key physical parameters and equations --
Describe length scale and resolution constraints --
Describe time scale and resolution constraints --
Describe any numerical limitations and issues --

Describe available calibration data sets
Upload calibration data sets if available:
Describe available test data sets
Upload test data sets if available:
Describe ideal data for testing

Do you have current or future plans for collaborating with other researchers? --
Is there a manual available? No
Upload manual if available:
Model website if any
Model forum / discussion board

Watershed Systems Modeling I (SW2008TC), offered annually at the USGS National Training Center.

Watershed Systems Modeling II (SW3018TC), offered upon request at the USGS National Training Center.

This part will be filled out by CSDMS staff

OpenMI compliant No but possible
BMI compliant No but possible
WMT component No but possible
PyMT component
Is this a data component
Can be coupled with:
Model info
Geological Survey U.S.
Nr. of publications: 14
Total citations: 343
h-index: 8
m-quotient: 0.15

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DR3M Information

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  • 1991 - DR3M-version II, added option to output simulated time-series data to Watershed Data Management (WDM) file. Output file modified to reduce width from 132 characters to 80 characters or less.
  • 1984 - DR3M-version II, WDM file replaces "card" input of time-series data.
  • 1982 - DR3M-version II, added two solution techniques for kinematic wave routing. Improved general output.
  • 1978 - Original DR3M version, incorporated the routing component from a version of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology catchment model into the lumped parameter rainfall-runoff model.
  • 1972 - A lumped parameter rainfall-runoff model for small rural watersheds


Nr. of publications: 14
Total citations: 343
h-index: 8
m-quotient: 0.15

Featured publication(s)YearModel describedType of ReferenceCitations
Dawdy, D.R.; Lichty, R.W.; Bergmann, J.M.; 1972. A rainfall-runoff simulation model for estimation of flood peaks for small drainage basins.. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 506-B, , 28.
(View/edit entry)
1972 DR3M
Model overview 131
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Input Files

Output Files