Soil erosion plays a critical role in soil and water conservation practices. Until recently, the WEAP model (Water Evaluation And Planning Tool), widely used for water resources planning assessments and scenario analyses, did not allow for the calculation of soil erosion. The WEAP Erosion plugin developed by FutureWater, fills this gap by allowing users to estimate soil erosion based on a simplified Modified Universal Soil Loss Equation (MUSLE) approach.

The use of WEAP plugins allow for the expansion of the base model with new processes and functionalities. As such, the WEAP Erosion plugin can be used to assess soil erosion for different land use types and management strategies (see figure below) in space and time. The WEAP Erosion plugin, originally developed in 2021, has recently been updated to the latest WEAP version (2023.0) and includes new features such as the automatic estimation of the average catchment slope.

Assessment of soil erosion for different land use and management strategies

The plugin was developed in association with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and can be freely used by each WEAP user. Since March 2024, the plugin has been officially included within the WEAP software and can be downloaded into models through the plugin menu. The plugin has been applied by FutureWater in projects for various partners, including The Nature Conservancy (TNC), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), and national water resource management institutes.

Interested in downloading the plugin? The plugin is available inside WEAP — click the Download button in the Plugins screen. The plugin and associated manual can be downloaded via this link.