EPA Releases Phase II of Stormwater Calculator

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 2.44.08 PMThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released phase II of its National Stormwater Calculator and Climate Assessment Tool package.

The update includes the future climate vulnerability scenarios.

As part of President Obama’s Climate Change Action Plan, the desktop application estimates the annual amount of stormwater runoff from a specific location.

The update also includes changes in seasonal precipitation levels, the effects of more frequent high-intensity storms and changes in evaporation rates based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s climate change scenaries.

The updated calculator includes climate models that can be incorporated into the calculation of stormwater runoff. This adds future climate scenarios to last year’s phase I release, which included local soil conditions, slope, land cover, historical rainfall records.

Users can enter any U.S. location and select different scenarios to learn how specific green infrastructure changes, including changes such as rain barrels and rain gardens, can reduce stormwater runoff.

According to the EPA, the Calculator accesses national databases that provide soil, topography, rainfall, and evaporation information for the chosen site.

The user supplies information about the site’s land cover and selects the types of low impact development (LID) controls they would like to use. The LID controls that the user can choose are the following seven green infrastructure practices:

1. Disconnection
2. Rain harvesting
3. Rain gardens
4. Green roofs
5. Street planters
6. Infiltration basins
7. Porous pavement

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