SPARROW Modeling Program

Release Date:

Overview of SPARROW

Current SPARROW model execution requires the SAS (Statistical Analysis System Institute) software components, including Base SAS, the SAS statistical procedures (SAS/STAT) and SAS/IML. The SPARROW model code is written in SAS Macro Language, with statistical procedures written in the SAS IML. A basic knowledge of the Base SAS software is required to develop simple SPARROW models. Modifications to the model code to develop more complex models require more detailed knowledge of SAS/IML language and programming.

SPARROW runs with SAS version 8.0 (or higher), supported on Windows 95 or Windows NT Version 4.0 (or higher). The SAS Geographic Information System (SAS/GIS) software component is optional for producing maps of model output. The minimum hardware configuration is Intel or Intel-compatible Pentium class processor with 64 megabytes of memory, and XGA or SVGA monitors with minimum screen resolution of 800x600. The work directory used by the SAS system must be of sufficient capacity to hold files as large as several hundred megabytes.

Vist the national USGS SPARROW website for a complete overview of SPARROW.


Download Current Version of SPARROW

The current version of SPARROW is version 2.10, released 

SPARROW v2.10 for Microsoft Windows; distribution includes documentation, release notes, source code, and example problem [25.2MB ZIP]
Summary of revisions [31KB TXT]


Find All SPARROW Related Software

Visit the SPARROW Programs page for a list of all SPARROW-related software.


Documentation for SPARROW

SPARROW is documented in the following:

Schwarz, G.E., Hoos, A.B., Alexander, R.B., Smith R.A., 2006, Section 3. The SPARROW Surface Water-Quality Model:, Theory, Application and User Documentation: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 6, chap. B3, 6 p.

Detailed installation instructions are provided in Part 2 (p. 123) of the SPARROW documentation. 

What’s New: A new version of the SPARROW code is being developed in the R programming language. The advantage of R is that it is non-proprietary and does not require a license or software cost. The R – SPARROW code is now being completed and should be available early in CY18. Stay Tuned.


Software License and Purchase Information
This software is a product of the U.S. Geological Survey, which is part of the U.S. Government.


This software is freely distributed. There is no fee to download and (or) use this software.


Users do not need a license or permission from the USGS to use this software. Users can download and install as many copies of the software as they need.

Public Domain

As a work of the United States Government, this USGS product is in the public domain within the United States. You can copy, modify, distribute, and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. Additionally, USGS waives copyright and related rights in the work worldwide through CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication ( ).