In November, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Watershed Management Optimization Support Tool. The tool supports integrated water resources management by allowing users to screen options for cost-effectiveness and environmental benefits. With the tool, users can evaluate a number of management options, including projects related to stormwater. Users can conduct an analysis of conservation and green infrastructure options and can see how these options compare to or could be used to complement traditional infrastructure. The Green Project Reserve, which was intended to fund green infrastructure and land conservation projects, encompasses 20% of the State Revolving Fund. However, use of the reserve for green infrastructure has been limited. The tool is intended to aid local water resource managers in evaluating these types of projects. Check out the theoretical documentation.
Also in November, EPA released an update to its Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Nonpoint Sources (BASINS) model. BASINS version 4.1 includes numerous enhancements and improved functionality, such as an upgraded interface, updated watershed delineation tools, and new tools to better estimate stream flow. The model can be used in managing watersheds, developing nonpoint source programs, developing total maximum daily loads, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permitting, and more.