About Software Data Download


BasinMaker v3.0 is a set of Python-based GIS tools that support vector-based watershed delineation, rediscretization, simplification, and revision for complex watershed systems that may include thousands of stream and lakes. These tools are designed to manipulate the North American river and lake routing data product downloadable from this website.

BasinMaker can directly generate model discretization files for the Raven hydrological model framework, but may also be used to support drainage analysis or simulation with other vector-based hydrology models.

North American Lake-River Routing Product v2.1

BasinMaker v2.0 was utilized to create this lake-river routing product using the MERIT DEM (3 arcsec; ~0.0008333°; ~90m) and HydroLAKES as core input layers. The extent of the routing product covers the main drainage regions across North America (Canada and the USA). In this routing product, each lake is represented by a lake catchment (subbasin). A lake catchment is defined by the following rules:

  1. the extent of the lake catchment will fully cover the lake;
  2. the outlet of the lake catchment is the same as the outlet of the lake; and
  3. each lake’s inlets are treated as a catchment outlet.
In this way, both inflow and outflow of each lake can be explicitly simulated by hydrologic routing models. The lake-river routing product provides a routing structure (which here refers to both the topology of the stream network and the contributing areas to individual lakes and stream reaches), to correctly represent lakes in hydrologic and land-surface models.

Routing product data v2.1 can be accessed via the map-based download tool.

Routing product users will want to download the data specifications file as well.

Ontario Lake-River Routing Product v1.0

BasinMaker v3.0 was utilized to create this lake-river routing product covering the Province of Ontario. See the product-specific website here to view and download the routing network.


BasinMaker and the associated lake-river routing products were developed by the hydrology research group at the University of Waterloo. Primary Contributors includes Ming Han, Hongren Shen, Bryan A. Tolson, James R. Craig, Juliane Mai, Simon Lin, Nandita B. Basu, Frezer Awol. We also want to thank Robert Chlumsky, Étienne Gaborit, Hongli Liu, Konhee Lee for their secondary support in development of this product and their contributions to our Pan-Canadian routing product.


Please contact Ming Han regarding the BasinMaker and the routing products.


The BasinMaker manuscript is submitted for review. To cite BasinMaker software or the North American Lake-River Routing Product routing product, please use:

And if necessary, for the dataset, cite:


Support for BasinMaker and the North American routing product development came from multiple sources: