On Feb.13, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of the Climate Adjustment Tool for its Stormwater Management Model — a widely-used, downloadable online stormwater simulation model. The Climate Adjustment Tool enables engineers and planners to evaluate the performance of water infrastructure while considering future such climate change projections as more frequent high-intensity storms and changes in evaporation rates. The tool also helps users determine the benefits of resiliency decisions in reducing local economic burden and protecting communities.

The new tool will enable users to add climate projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to existing simulations to determine the quality of water traveling through traditional infrastructure, including gutters, storm drains, pipes, channels, collection tanks, and storage devices. The tool also has the ability to model the performance of green infrastructure practices, including permeable pavement, rain gardens, and green roofs. Engineers and planners can represent accurately any combination of traditional and green infrastructure practices within an area to determine their effectiveness in managing stormwater and combined sewer overflows.

The Climate Adjustment Tool, in addition to other tools in the President’s Climate Action Plan Virtual Climate Resilience Toolkit, can help users make planning, analysis, and design decisions that will guard against the effects of climate change.