2017 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, 2017 through March 31,2018
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 alternatives and is adaptable across the regional climate, policies, and practices of the United States. The decision support framework will include hydrologic models at the watershed and site scale and integrate a life-cycle assessment and an estimate of community co-benefits provided by the infrastructure.

Progress Summary:

• Held two meetings with the project Science Advisory Board (SAB).
• Identified tool’s test watersheds and key partners for both site- and watershed-scale tools.
• Expanded/Developed MS-Excel scenario builder for watershed-scale and site-scale tools.
• Completed, tested, and validated hydrologic routines for site-scale tool in Madison, WI.
• Assembled regional default water quality parameter database for site-scale tool.
• Began preliminary tests on optimization of green and grey BMPs in Los Angeles, CA.
• Performed a literature review to enumerate the most commonly cited co-benefits.
• Evaluated available databases with material and labor costs.
• Began linking material inventories for specific stormwater control measures to cost and environmental impact data.

Future Activities:

Watershed-scale Hydrology/Water Quality

  • Program external hydrologic model time series format utility in MS-Excel.
  • Finish MS-Excel BMP scenario builder.
  • Complete MS-Excel BMP water quality calibration utility.
  • Edit decision variables generated during EPA SUSTAIN optimization.
  • Use Los Angeles as test optimization of both grey/green/hybrid BMP techniques.


  • Submit manuscript on spatial analysis of co-benefits of existing GI using census and remote sensing data; address scale / tipping point required.
  • Develop national survey of stormwater preference, address social gaps found in spatial analysis.
  • Link list of co-benefits generated during a literature to a list of specific BMPs for integration into the tool.

Life Cycle Costs

  • Literature review on costs.
  • Longevity-oriented project design.
  • Adjustable inflation and commodity price anchors: goal is to keep our models accurate even as labor, commodity, etc. prices change.
  • Excel workbook structured for usability: build in the ability to change costs for specific line items or use logical defaults.

Life Cycle Assessment

  • Develop a model in OpenLCA for list of BMPs.

Site-Scale Tool

  • Verify developed model with observations and SWMM modeling results.
  • Testing the hydrologic module Engagement of Water Utilities to Inform Decision Support.
  • Lead structured discussions with U.S. utilities that have successfully chosen to implement green infrastructure approaches.


Hogue, T.S.; Bell, C. D.; Geza, M.; Stokes-Draut, J. Integrated Decision Support Tool (i-DST) for Life Cycle Cost Assessment of Grey and Green Stormwater Management Infrastructure. EPA Safe and Sustainable Water Research Program Monthly Webinar. October, 2017.

Journal Articles:

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

Supplemental Keywords:

Stormwater, best management practices, optimization, life cycle cost, life cycle assessment

Relevant Websites:


Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2016 Progress Report
  • 2018 Progress Report