The study presented here applies the highly parameterised semi-distributed U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to an Australian subtropical catchment. SWAT has been applied to numerous catchments worldwide and is considered to be a useful tool that is under ongoing development with contributions coming from different research groups in different parts of the world. In a preliminary run the SWAT model application for the Elimbah Creek catchment has estimated water yield for the catchment and has quantified the different sources. For the modelling period of April 1999 to September 2009 the results show that the main sources of water in Elimbah Creek are total surface runoff and lateral flow (65%). Base-flow contributes 36% to the total runoff. On a seasonal basis modelling results show a shift in the source of water contributing to Elimbah Creek from surface runoff and lateral flow during intense summer storms to base-flow conditions during dry months. Further calibration and validation of these results will confirm that SWAT provides an alternative to Australian water balance models
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