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Tools

Green Infrastructure Resources and Aides

A Road Map to Green Infrastructure – There is currently no universal definition of green infrastructure within the federal system. This tool provides a road map to understanding how each federal agency defines and implements green infrastructure.

Water Environment Research Foundation – This toolkit provides informational guides and resources to aid planning and implementation of green infrastructure projects.

EPA Green Infrastructure Toolkit – A broad suite of tools, guides and policy research to support green infrastructure initiatives.

Tree Canopy and Identification Guides

i-Tree – a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the USDA Forest Service that provides urban forestry analysis and benefits assessment tools.

US Forest Service Tree Guides – Identify and describe the benefits and costs of planting trees in a specific climate zones to assist community officials and tree managers increase public awareness and support for tree programs.

Green Infrastructure Calculators

CNT Stormwater Management Calculator – The Center for Neighborhood Technology’s calculator is a tool for quickly comparing the performance, costs, and some benefits of green infrastructure practices to those of conventional stormwater management practices. The GVC takes users through a step-by-step process of determining the average precipitation at the site, choosing a stormwater runoff volume reduction goal, defining the impervious areas of the site under a conventional development scheme and then choosing from a range of green infrastructure best management practices (BMPs) to find the combination that meets the runoff volume reduction goal in a cost-effective way.

GreenSave Calculator – Developed by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and the Athena Institute, this calculator allows for the analysis of various roof types over a set period of time in order to compare life-cycle costs. The tool is intended to help users examine future operating, maintenance, repair or replacement costs, as well as benefits such as energy savings.

National Tree Benefit Calculator – Casey Trees and Davey Tree Expert Co. have developed a National Tree Benefit Calculator which allows users to determine the stormwater, property value, energy (both electricity and natural gas), air quality and climate benefits and values for an individual tree.

Green Roof Energy Calculator – The Green Building Research Laboratory at Portland State University has developed an online calculator to allow users to compare the energy performance of a building with a green roof to the performance of the same building with a conventional (black) or high-albedo (white) roof.

Construction Carbon Calculator – This tool estimates the net embodied carbon of a project’s structures and site. The measurements account for building materials, processes and carbon released due to ecosystem degradation or sequestered through landscape installation or restoration. Landscape inputs are ecoregion, area and type of existing vegetation, area disturbed, and area and type of vegetation installed.

Vegetable Garden Value Calculator – This straightforward calculator uses the inputs of produce type and planted area to determine the total pounds grown and market value of individual or multiple crops. Over 50 kinds of vegetables, fruits, and herbs are available in the drop-down menu.

Rainwater Harvesting Calculator – This Excel-based calculator was developed to help residents of Washington State size and test scenarios for rain water harvesting systems based on the typical climate. The calculator assumes that water is harvested entirely from roofs and that 80% of precipitation falling on roofs is captured.

Water Harvesting Calculator – This tool estimates the volume of water required for toilet flushing in a building and compares it to the amount of water that a rainwater harvesting system could capture from roofs and parking lots. Inputs include: information on building occupancy, average rainfall, and roof and parking lot catchment areas. Results are estimates of toilet flushing water requirements, volume of rainwater available, percent of toilet flushing need that could be met, and volume of any additional rainwater available for irrigation or other uses.

Soil-Water Characteristics Calculator – The SPAW (Soil-Plant-Air-Water) model simulates the daily hydrologic water budgets of agricultural landscapes with two connected modules, one for farm fields and one for impoundments such as wetland ponds, lagoons or reservoirs. The model was developed to understand and predict agricultural hydrology and its interactions with soils and crop production. It can be adapted to a wide variety of hydrologic analyses including: Estimation of runoff and seepage from agricultural fields and design and performance evaluation of agricultural ponds, lagoons and reservoirs for water supply, waste management and water management. Simulation results estimate a daily vertical water budget depth of all major hydrologic processes including runoff, infiltration, evapotranspiration, soil water profiles and percolation.

Assessment Tools

LIDRA Model – The Low Impact Development Rapid Assessment Tool is a model designed to compare the life-cycle values of implementing various green infrastructure techniques used in reducing runoff versus conventional stormwater management practices. The tool pulls from a database of performance and cost values derived from national data.

CITYGreen – American Forests’ CITYgreen is an extension of ESRI’s ArcGIS software. It converts stormwater and energy impacts (among others) from trees and other vegetation into monetary values based on local specifications.

inVEST – inVEST aims to provide a consistent methodology for measuring and comparing the value of multiple ecosystem services across real landscapes. The InVEST 1.004 Beta package offers models for carbon sequestration, crop pollination, managed timber production,water purification (for nutrients), reservoir hydropower production, and sediment retention for reservoir maintenance. It also includes a biodiversity model so that tradeoffs between biodiversity and ecosystem services can be assessed.

Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment Tool – The Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) tool is a GIS-based multipurpose hydrologic analysis system for use by watershed, water resource, land use, and biological resource managers and scientists in performing watershed- and basin-scale studies. It uses readily available spatial data sets to parameterize and run two widely used watershed runoff and erosion models: the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and KINematic Runoff and EROSion (KINEROS2) hydrologic models. AGWA is designed to support hydrologic modeling and watershed assessments at multiple spatial and temporal scales.

Long-term Hydrologic Impact Analysis Tool – L-THIA estimates changes in recharge, runoff, and nonpoint source pollution resulting from past or proposed development. It estimates long-term average annual runoff for land use and soil combinations, based on community-specific long-term climate data. In the basic model, the only inputs are: location (state and county), soil type in area where the land use will occur (available online if unknown), and type and size of land use change (e.g., 100 acres of agricultural land converted to 50 acres high-density residential and 50 acres commercial). L-THIA will generate estimated runoff volumes and depths, and expected nonpoint source pollution loadings to water bodies.

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