A Model Tool

BY: Sheeba Thomas, Yu-Chun Su, Ka-Leung Lee & Paul Hummel

Quantitative watershed master planning in the hydrologic and hydraulic field has been a standard practice for many decades. However, rural and urban runoff water quality management using BMPs and low impact development (LID) generally has been limited to qualitative planning, mostly due to the lack of suitable tools to conduct quantitative assessment.

In many cases, BMPs/LID has been implemented and then found ineffective through follow-up monitoring. In addition, inappropriate types and numbers of BMPs/LID also have been implemented in locations that provided little or no benefit to in-stream water quality. Consequently, many BMP/LID implementations were simply “best management” or “to the extent practicable” and the effectiveness of the BMPs/LID could only rely on follow-up long-term monitoring to verify.

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