What is HFAM?

Lake Catherine, UT

A Comprehensive Hydrologic Simulation and Modeling Solution


Scope and Development

Hydrocomp began designing the current Hydrocomp Forecast and Analysis Model software (HFAM) in 2003, achieving completion in 2007. However, we continue to develop HFAM adding additional features regularly.

Our primary objectives designing HFAM were to increase flexibility and comprehensiveness, continuing a philosophy that began with the Stanford Watershed Model series.

The Stanford Watershed Model series first accomplished the simulation of concurrent, continuous simulation of hydrologic variables such as streamflow, soil moisture, infiltration, and snowpack conditions.

Before the Stanford models, hydrologic processes like evapotranspiration, flood flows, and low flow frequency were studied separately, often on an “event” basis, independent of the behaviors of related processes in a watershed.

Although modeling became the standard practice in hydrologic engineering, unnecessary compartmentalization of processes persists.

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Why Modeling

Significant benefits realized when expanding the scope of modeling:


Link dynamic reservoir operations to current and future reservoir inflows


Operate reservoirs to compensate for downstream unregulated streamflows

Water Management

Combine aquifer storage and discharge with surface water for water management planning

Measure Changes

Analyze the effects of physical changes in watersheds (land use, cover) and changes in climate


Execute economic analysis of reservoir characteristics, hydro plant capacities, diversions, and other facilities

Based on the Stanford, HSP, HSPF,  SRFM and Seafm family of models, HFAM is a continuous simulation model that does historical or forecast analysis. It will generate probabilistic (ensemble) forecasts of streamflows, reservoir levels, and releases for all purposes, including power production.

When used for the operation of projects, HFAM shows future reservoir outflows, irrigation diversions, conditional flood frequency, and reservoir elevation probability.

4 Types of Runs Executed By HFAM: Forecast, Analysis, Probabilistic, and Optimization


Made with deterministic weather forecasts, and are often used for flood forecasts and flood operations.


Made using historical and real-time data for model parameter calibration and for a period of record studies of reservoir operations and water yields.


Give exceedance probability for watershed and reservoir conditions in the future based on the current watershed state and future weather.


Solve for the current optimal release from a reservoir given present and future values of releases and exceedance probabilities for reservoir inflows.

HFAM stores meteorological time series inputs in three databases: forecast, historical, and real-time. These databases can be seamlessly connected in any model run.

Outputs from HFAM include flows and storage in physical elements, heat exchange, and mass and concentration of sediment and nutrients. Statistical summaries of both inputs and outputs are available. Model input and output are in XML, and Schemas verify all model inputs before the model uses them.

Model outputs are available for all time series. Any XML conversant program, like EXCEL or WORD, can use these outputs directly.