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VELMA Ecohydrological Model, Version 2.0 -- Analyzing Green Infrastructure Options for Enhancing Water Quality and Ecosystem Service Co-Benefits
Mckane, Bob. VELMA Ecohydrological Model, Version 2.0 -- Analyzing Green Infrastructure Options for Enhancing Water Quality and Ecosystem Service Co-Benefits. U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development, Washington, DC, 2014.
This 2-page factsheet describes a flexible eco-hydrological model, VELMA, that is designed to assist communities, land managers, tribes and EPA client offices in evaluating the effectiveness of green infrastructure (GI) strategies for improving water quality in the nation’s surface waters. Significance • New version of VELMA provides advanced computational and visualization capabilities for assessing the effectiveness of GI strategies for improving water quality of streams, rivers and estuaries. • Supports technical examination of ecosystem service co-benefits and tradeoffs associated with alternative GI strategies. • Supports wide range of modeling expertise and client needs for green infrastructure planning and policy development. • Provides a transferable framework for making consistent comparisons of GI benefits across habitats and ecoregions. • Modern Java code supports open source (community) model development for green infrastructure and ecosystem service applications.
This 2-page factsheet describes an enhanced version (2.0) of the VELMA eco-hydrological model. VELMA – Visualizing Ecosystem Land Management Assessments – has been redesigned to assist communities, land managers, policy makers and other decision makers in evaluataing the effectiveness of riparian buffers, cover crops and other green infrastructure (GI) for improving water quality of streams, rivers and estuaries. The model predicts how natural and engineered GI options control the fate and transport of water, nutrients and toxics across multiple spatial and temporal scales – from plots to basins, from days to centuries. VELMA 2.0 has been validated for GI in the Pacific Northwest, Chesapeake Bay and other ecoregions. These applications focus on the use of riparian buffers, cover crops and other GI practices in agricultural and forest watersheds. Results illustrate how stream nutrient loads can be significantly reduced by locating riparian buffers in areas with shallow groundwater flow, and by maintaining buffer widths above nutrient-specific “breakthrough” thresholds. VELMA also supports quantification of ecosystem service co-benefits and tradeoffs associated with alternative GI and climate change scenarios. The factsheet is intended to provide potential model users and clients with an overview of VELMA’s capabilities for analyzing GI options for enhancing water quality and ecosystem service co-benefits.