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Identifying Cost-Effective Water Resources Management Strategies: Watershed Management Optimization Support Tool (WMOST)
Zoltay, V. AND N. Detenbeck. Identifying Cost-Effective Water Resources Management Strategies: Watershed Management Optimization Support Tool (WMOST). Presented at World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, Portland, OR, June 01 - 05, 2014.
The objective of the Watershed Management Optimization Support Tool (WMOST) is to serve as a public-domain, efficient, and user-friendly tool for local water resources managers and planners to screen a wide-range of potential water resources management options across their watershed or jurisdiction for cost-effectiveness as well as environmental and economic sustainability (Zoltay et al 2010). Examples of options that could be evaluated with the tool potentially include projects related to stormwater, water supply, wastewater and water-related resources such as low-impact development (LID) and land conservation. The tool is intended to aid in evaluating the environmental and economic costs, benefits, trade-offs and co-benefits of various management options. In addition, the tool is intended to facilitate the evaluation of LID and green infrastructure as alternative or complementary management options in projects proposed for State Revolving Funds (SRF). As of October 2010, SRF Sustainability Policy calls for integrated planning in the use of SRF resources as a means of improving the sustainability of infrastructure projects and the communities they serve. In addition, Congress mandated a 20% set-aside of SRF funding for a “Green Project Reserve” which includes green infrastructure and land conservation measures as eligible projects in meeting water quality goals. The target user group for the DST consists of local water resources managers, including New England municipal water works superintendents and their consultants.
The Watershed Management Optimization Support Tool (WMOST) is a public-domain software application designed to aid decision makers with integrated water resources management. The tool allows water resource managers and planners to screen a wide-range of management practices for cost-effectiveness in meeting watershed or municipality water management goals, including meeting projected demand for water supply and minimum and maximum in-stream flow targets. Management practices covered by WMOST include those related to water supply, wastewater, nonpotable water reuse, aquifer storage and recharge, stormwater, low-impact development (LID) and land conservation. WMOST optimizes within a watershed system context accounting for the direct and indirect cost and performance of each practice. WMOST can be used to (1) identify the most cost-effective mix of management practices to meet projected human demand and minimum in-stream flow standards, (2) understand trade-offs between goals such as meeting human demand or minimum in-stream flow and total annual management costs, (3) characterize the sensitivity of the solution to the input data and parameters (e.g., the range of estimated construction costs for a stormwater management practice that will not change the recommended mix of practices).