2016 Progress Report: An Integrated Decision Support Tool (I-DST) for Life-Cycle Cost Assessment and Optimization of Green, Grey, and Hybrid Stormwater Infrastructure

EPA Grant Number: R836174
Title: An Integrated Decision Support Tool (I-DST) for Life-Cycle Cost Assessment and Optimization of Green, Grey, and Hybrid Stormwater Infrastructure
Investigators: Hogue, Terri , Horvath, Arpad , Higgins, Christopher , Stokes, Jennifer , McCray, John , Geza, Mengistu , McDonald, Rob
Institution: Colorado School of Mines , The Nature Conservancy , University of California - Berkeley
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2020
Project Period Covered by this Report: April 1, 2016 through March 31,2017
Project Amount: $1,949,462
RFA: National Priorities: Life Cycle Costs of Water Infrastructure Alternatives (2015) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water


Develop an integrated Decision Support Tool (i-DST) that allows for optimization and life-cycle cost assessment (LCCA) of grey, green, and hybrid stormwater infrastructure and is adaptable across the diverse climates and regional policies and practices of the United States.

Progress Summary:

The team has begun a systematic literature review on water quality performance of stormwater best management practices across regions of the United States. This review is aiding in parameterization of the i-DST by identifying the set of regions with the most explanatory power and characterizing default parameters for BMP performance within each of those regions to include in i-DST.

The team has developed the architecture of i-DST, which includes an internal hourly runoff model, but also allows use of time series output from any hydrologic model (e.g., SWMM, HSPF, etc.) to enable efficient use of i-DST in watersheds where models have already been built.

The team has conducted a literature review of existing tools, research, and case studies that include cost data for stormwater management using green and gray infrastructure to provide a baseline for evaluating economic tradeoffs between these alternatives. We also have started updating the Water-Energy Sustainability Tool (WEST), an Excel-based decision-support tool we previously developed for evaluating the life-cycle energy and environmental effects associated with urban water infrastructure, which will be integrated into i-DST.

We have conceptualized the software architecture for the i-DST. The design was based on a survey of existing tools and input solicited from the SAB. In order to quantify and qualify the environmental and social co-benefits associated with green, grey, or hybrid infrastructure alternatives, a graphical and tabular triple bottom line alternative is being developed. With this methodology, the team aims to distance itself from treating social and environmental benefits or losses as costs to be compared to the economic bottom line. This product will allow decision makers to compare social and environmental factors on the same graphic as risk and project lifecycle costs.

Future Activities:

Two explicit tools are being developed, i-DST and i-DST-SB, for evaluating options and risks associated with improving stormwater runoff management using green, grey, and hybrid infrastructure. Ancillary benefits such as reducing inputs to and costs of grey infrastructure, as well as enhancing green livable cities and augmenting scarce water supplies will be incorporated within both tools. User and training documentation and regional training workshops will be developed.

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 9 publications for this project

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2017 Progress Report
  • 2018 Progress Report