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Qual2Kw is a modeling framework written in Excel/VBA for simulating river and stream water quality. The QUAL2Kw framework is a one dimensional, non-uniform, steady flow model with Diel heat flow budget simulation. The heat budget and temperature are simulated as a function of meteorology on a Diel time scale with Diel water-quality kinetics. The channel is assumed to be well-mixed vertically and laterally. All water quality state variables are simulated on a diel time scale for biogeochemical processes. Point and non-point loads and abstractions are simulated. Phytoplankton and bottom algae in the water column, as well as sediment diagenesis, and heterotrophic metabolism in the hyporheic zone are simulated. The model has variable stoichiometry and the luxury uptake of nutrients by the bottom algae (periphyton) is simulated with variable stoichiometry of N and P.

Geographic Location

Developed in Oregon and Washington. Used widely by WDOE and sometimes in Oregon.


Surface water: temperature data, flow data, channel morphological data, solar radiation, meteorological data, continuous and instaneous water quality data (pH, DO, conductivity, nutrients, etc).


Longitudinal profiles of flow, hydraulic properties, temperature, water quality and biological parameters. Temporal diel profiles also available.

Linkage to Other Models

A series of support models provide input to Qual2Kw

Level of Effort

An intensive monitoring effort is required for the entire the model period. The model is complicated and requires an understanding of modeling, hydrology and stream ecology.

Basin Scale Opportunity Assesment