Successful implementation of a catchment modelling system requires careful consideration of the system calibration which involves evaluation of many spatially and temporally variable control parameters. Evaluation of spatially variable control parameters has been an issue of increasing concern arising from an increased awareness of the inappropriateness of assuming catchment averaged values. Presented herein is the application of a real-value coding genetic algorithm (GA) for evaluation of spatially variable control parameters for implementation with the Storm Water Management Model (SWMM). It was found that a real-value coding GA using multiple storms calibration was a robust search technique that was capable of identifying the most promising range of values for spatially variable control parameters. As the selection of appropriate GA operators is an important aspect of the GA efficiency, a comprehensive investigation of the GA operators in a high-dimensional search space was conducted. It was found that a uniform crossover operation was superior to both one-point and two-point crossover operations over the whole range of crossover probabilities, and the optimal uniform crossover and mutation probabilities for the complex system considered were in the range of 0.75–0.90 and 0.01–0.1, respectively.

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