Step 3—Identify Appropriate Tools

There are countless tools that can help water managers integrate strategies across sectors, and just as many tools that will help implement strategies once they’ve been identified. This section focuses on technical and non-technical tools that water managers can use to provide multiple benefits to the economy, society, and the environment.

Resources:

American Rivers, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative—Upgrade Your Infrastructure: A Guide to the Green Infrastructure Portfolio Standard and Building Stormwater Retrofits (2012)

This guide provides a framework for the long term and predictable implementation of GSI. It begins with an introduction to the Green Infrastructure Portfolio Standard (GIPS); then describes the GIPS planning process from developing long-term measurable goals to monitoring implementation of a project and identifying new projects; and finally includes local policy recommendations that align with GIPS goals. 24 pages. Intermediate reading level. Read More…

American Rivers—Natural Security: How Sustainable Water Strategies are Preparing Communities for a Changing Climate (2009)

This report highlights eight forward-looking communities that have become more resilient to the impacts of climate change by embracing green infrastructure. Goes on to argue that a 21st century approach would recognize green infrastructure as the core of our water management system. Takes a wider definition of green infrastructure to include landscape-scale efforts as well as site-scale GSI. 112 pages. Intermediate reading level.

American Rivers—Drinking Water Infrastructure: Who Pays and How (and for what?). An Advocates Guide (2013)

Acquaints advocates with the imperatives that define drinking water management today. Can be used by advocates of all different stripes to prepare for engagement with a wide range of stakeholders to strategize for collaboration. 27 pages. Intermediate reading level. Read More…

American Rivers—Hidden Reservoir: Why Water Efficiency is the Best Solution for the Southeast (2008)

This report describes why building new dams should be the absolute last alternative for meeting water supply needs. It makes the case that water efficiency is our best source of affordable water and must be the backbone of water supply planning. By implementing the nine water efficiency policies outlined in this report, communities can secure cost-effective and timely water supply. 36 pages. Intermediate reading level. Read More…

The Center for Neighborhood Technology and American Rivers—The Value of Green Infrastructure (2010)

Describes the multiple benefits of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI), proposes tangible ways to quantify these benefits, and points toward other sectors of the economy that could be leveraged to support GSI. 80 pages. Starts as intermediate reading, finishes as difficult. Read More…

American Rivers and Green for All—Staying Green: Strategies to Improve Operations and Maintenance of Green Infrastructure in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (2013)

This report tackles this issue of operations and maintenance, one of the primary perceived barriers to installing GSI on a large scale. It identifies strategies and best practices that local governments, practitioners, and other groups are using to develop and improve maintenance practices. 62 pages. Intermediate reading level. Read More…

SWITCH Training Desk: Managing Water for the City of the Future.

Clearinghouse for information on sustainable urban water management, aimed at water managers, urban planners, and engineers at the utility and local government level. Note: on this website there is a summary booklet, six primary modules, and countless resources that go into greater depth if desired. Range from easy to difficult reading level. Read More…

Technical Tools

Some of these may require membership, training, or purchase.

Alliance for Water Efficiency—Water Conservation Tracking Tool

An Excel-based model that can evaluate the water savings, costs, and benefits of conservation programs for a specific water utility. It provides a standardized methodology for water savings and benefit-cost accounting, and includes a library of pre-defined conservation activities from which users can build conservation programs. Free to AWE members, along with user guide and one hour or training. Read More…

Colorado State University—eRAMS

The Integrated Urban Water Model (IUWM) was developed for urban water forecasting with conservation and recycling practices. The mass balance model allows evaluation of alternative strategies under varying climatic conditions at a municipal or regional scale. Free, web-based, includes user guide. Read More…

The Watershed Rapid Assessment Program (WRAP) is used to extract, organize, and analyze data and information at various watershed scales, for geospatial characteristics as well as water quantity and quality. Utilizing the extracted data, the WRAP tool calculates a number of indicators for these attributes to create an overall summary of the watershed condition, which can then be used to prioritize management actions of various watersheds. Free, web-based, includes user guide. Read More…

Trust for Public Land—Greenprinting

Tool for identifying community asses through a combination of science and stakeholder engagement to create parks, protect open space, and deliver community-driven conservation plans. Read More…

American Water Works Association—Water Loss Control Resource Community

Water loss control represents the efforts of water utilities to provide accountability in their operation by reliably auditing their water supplies and implementing controls to minimize system losses. The AWWA Free Water Audit Software© is available for download, and the M36 Water Audits & Loss Control Programs is available for purchase. Read More…