37 Multi-Benefit Resources


A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Seminatural Wetlands and Activated Sludge Wastewater-Treatment Systems

Author: Mannino et al., (2008)
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A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Seminatural Wetlands and Activated Sludge Wastewater-Treatment Systems compares cost efficiency of wastewater treatment capacity for three constructed wetlands and three wastewater treatment plants. Considering only the wastewater treatment, and no other costs and benefits, the authors find constructed treatment wetlands are competitive with traditional wastewater treatment facilities.

Hydro-economic models: Concepts, design, applications, and future prospects

Author: Harou et al., University College London (2009)
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Hydro-economic models: Concepts, design, applications, and future prospects discusses the role of economic valuation in water demand. The paper analyzed over 80 hydro-economic models to evaluate the ability of current models to include spatial and temporal components of water systems. This allows water managers to determine the value in decreasing system inefficiencies.

Economic valuation of river restoration: An analysis of the valuation literature and its uses in decision making

Author: Bergstrom & Loomis, The University of Georgia, Athens (2016)
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Economic valuation of river restoration: An analysis of the valuation literature and its uses in decision-making compares valuations of 38 river restoration projects. The majority of valuations used contingent valuation methods and focused on fish populations. Other valuations used revealed preference or stated preference and valued water quality, recreation, or other benefits.

Economic-Engineering Method for Assessing Trade-Offs between Instream and Offstream Uses

Author: Génova et al., (2019)
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Economic-Engineering Method for Assessing Trade-Offs between Instream and Offstream Uses creates a method for comparing values of instream and offstream uses of water. Using the example of a river in Chile, the authors compare the valuation of more energy generation with providing more water for the river to support recreation. The method found the benefits depended heavily on drought and energy prices.

Renaturing cities using a regionally-focused biodiversity-led multifunctional benefits approach to urban green infrastructure

Author: Connop et al., Sustainability Research Institute (2016)
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This article, “Renaturing cities using a regionally-focused biodiversity-led multifunctional benefits approach to urban green infrastructure,” considers the biodiversity outcomes of case studies in three locations in Europe. The authors discuss the “multifunctional” design in these three case studies and conclude it is effective at improving biodiversity in urban settings.

The contribution of constructed green infrastructure to urban biodiversity: A synthesis and meta-analysis

Author: Filazzola et al., University of Alberta (2019)
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The contribution of constructed green infrastructure to urban biodiversity: A synthesis and meta-analysis examines efficacy of green infrastructure in improving biodiversity. The authors examined 33 published green infrastructure cases that included quantification of biodiversity. The synthesis of these cases suggests there are significant biodiversity benefits. Some projects achieve levels of biodiversity found in undisturbed sites.

Quantifying the Potential Benefits of Land Conservation on Water Supply to Optimize Return on Investments

Author: Eddy et al., The Water Research Foundation (2019)
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Quantifying the Potential Benefits of Land Conservation on Water Supply to Optimize Return on Investments uses economic valuation to determine specific spatial areas for conservation and development in the Catawba-Wateree Watershed. Using spatial models, potential conserved areas that would create the largest benefits were identified based on their reduction in sediment load. Other valuations such as air quality improvements from forest management are also considered.

Urban green space, public health, and environmental justice: The challenge of making cities ‘just green enough’

Author: Wolch et al., UC Berkeley (2014)
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Urban green space, public health, and environmental justice: The challenge of making cities ‘just green enough’ is a review paper evaluating the global relationship between environmental improvements and inequity. The article concludes green space development’s impact on disenfranchised groups hinges on the goals of the development. Greening that is designed to increase the value of the neighborhood can be problematic, but greening that is “just enough” can accomplish significant health improvements without displacing people.

Wiped Out by the ‘Greenwave’: Environmental Gentrification and the Paradoxical Politics of Urban Sustainability

Author: Checker, Queens College CUNY (2011)
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Wiped Out by the ‘Greenwave’: Environmental Gentrification and the Paradoxical Politics of Urban Sustainability examines how profit driven environmental improvements could exacerbate inequities through ethnography in Harlem, New York. Environmental gentrification can be an issue when pursuing green infrastructure (GI) projects. The author suggests making any changes in land use sensitive to cultural activities and historical context.

Inclusive Urban Ecological Restoration in Toronto, Canada

Author: Newman, Center for Resource Economics (2011)
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Inclusive Urban Ecological Restoration in Toronto, Canada explores the ways improving diversity in park management could benefit Toronto communities. Involving more racial groups in projects has many unrecognized benefits. For example, it can help undo racial stereotypes that parks and natural spaces are only for white people. It can also make people who live in these communities more visible. Communities can also be empowered by being included in ecological projects. By involving minority groups from the beginning of a project, the project is more sustainable in the long term.

From brown to green? Assessing social vulnerability to environmental gentrification in New York City

Author: Hamil Pearsall, Clark University (2010)
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From brown to green? Assessing social vulnerability to environmental gentrification in New York City uses multiple linear regression to examine which factors determine if environmental improvements lead to gentrification. The report finds populations with low or fixed income such as seniors, people with disabilities, and people dependent on federal assistance can be significantly impacted by environmental gentrification. Areas that were redeveloped adjacent to other desirable amenities such as waterfront access, and easy public transit access experienced higher ecological gentrification.

Just green enough: contesting environmental gentrification in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Author: Curran & Hamilton, DePaul University (2012)
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Just green enough: contesting environmental gentrification in Greenpoint, Brooklyn is a case study showing the benefits of partnerships between developers, environmentalists, and community members. While development can lead to displacement, there is a space for strategic development that does not negatively alter the neighborhood. Focusing on people’s health instead of aesthetics can protect the character of the neighborhood.

The environmental benefits of water recycling and reuse

Author: Anderson, Dept. of Public Works and Services, Sydney, Australia (2003)
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The environmental benefits of water recycling and reuse presents on the links between water reuse and sustainable water management through the examination of a variety of case studies from Australia. Some case studies included also quantify the environmental benefits of water reuse.

Promoting ecosystem and human health in urban areas using Green Infrastructure: A literature review

Author: Tzoulas et al., (2007)
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Promoting ecosystem and human health in urban areas using Green Infrastructure: A literature review formulates a conceptual framework of associations between urban green space, and ecosystem and human health. Through an interdisciplinary literature review the possible contributions of Green Infrastructure on both ecosystem health and human health are critically reviewed. Over a dozen studies are cited that demonstrate human health aspects related to green space and nature. Included definition of ecosystem services and Green Infrastructure which differs from LID definitions of GI in the U.S.

Water Resources Management: Optimizing within a Watershed Context

Author: Zoltay, Kirshen, & Vogel, (2007)
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This resource provides an explanation of a model that was developed to evaluate a broad range of technical, economic, and policy management options within a watershed context. Inputs to the model include water quantity and water quality, with outputs including flow and concentrations. The authors hypothesize that this model will help to demonstrate the value of a wide variety of water management options and support integrated water resources management decisions.

Restoring Natural Fire Regimes Can Yield More Water Downstream

Author: Biosramé et al., University of California, Berkeley (2019)
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Research from Yosemite National Park provides a new understanding of one of the potential benefits of restoring a forest’s natural fire regime: more downstream flow and less water stress. Since the 1970s one watershed in Yosemite has been managed to allow for a natural fire regime, leading to a reduction in vegetation density across the basin. Their findings from modeling differences in water stress and downstream flow suggest that fire suppression would have led to increased water stress and decreased downstream flows as compared to the current management strategy of allowing for natural fires.

Life cycle based analysis of demands and emissions for residential water-using appliances

Author: Lee & Tansel, (2012)
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Life cycle based analysis of demands and emissions for residential water-using appliances focuses on the indirect consumption and environmental impacts from end-use water demand of household appliances. It quantifies the energy and greenhouse gas emissions from three residential water-using appliances using life-cycle analysis.

The value of public and private green spaces under water restrictions

Author: MacDonald et al., (2010)
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The value of public and private green spaces under water restrictions analyzes the economic impact of outdoor watering restrictions on private and public landscapes. The results show that outdoor watering restrictions do not have an impact on the value of private landscapes, but may have implications for public landscape usage.

Valuing investments in sustainable land management in the Upper Tana River basin, Kenya

Author: Vogl et al., (2017)
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Valuing investments in sustainable land management in the Upper Tana basin, Kenya provides a case study of valuing ecosystem services using the InVEST model (of the Natural Capital Project) to assess the multiple benefits of land management practices in a large, diverse watershed. This study provides detailed analysis of targeted interventions that take into account stakeholder preferences, local environmental and socio-economic conditions. The outputs of the model link biophysical outputs to monetary metrics, including reduced water treatment costs, increased hydropower production, and crop yield benefits.

From comparative risk assessment to multi-criteria decision analysis and adaptive management: Recent developments and applications

Author: Linkoc et al., (2006)
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From comparative risk assessment to multi-criteria decision analysis and adaptive management: Recent developments and applications provides a summary of regulatory frameworks in the United State and Europe. The paper also proposes a new decision-making framework that combines multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) with adaptive management strategies and significant stakeholder engagement. The report includes an application of the framework to a sediment restoration project in the New York/New Jersey Harbor.

Impacts of desalination plant discharges on the marine environment: A critical review of published studies

Author: Roberts, Johnston, & Knott, (2010)
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Impacts of desalination plant discharges on the marine environment: A critical review of published studies provides a qualitative review of the environmental impacts of desalination plants across the globe. The literature review revealed that the most detrimental environmental impacts have resulted from older multi-stage flash (MSF) plants as a result of the large amounts of discharge with little flushing. The negative environmental impacts cited include increased water salinity and temperatures, as well as the deposition of hydrocarbons, metals, and toxic compounds. The literature review also revealed that selected discharge location directly influenced the severity of environmental impacts.

Determining the Economic Value of Water: Concepts and Methods

Author: Young & Loomis, (2014)
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Determining the Economic Value of Water: Concepts and Methods provides a comprehensive summary of economic valuation techniques used for water management strategies. The book includes a framework for economic valuation of the primary and secondary benefits of water investments, including improved water quality, enhanced fish habitats, and recreation benefits. Non-market valuation techniques are discussed for the valuation of difficult to quantify public benefits. The book also includes an analysis of the various valuation techniques, examining specific applications, limitations, and advantages of each technique.

Multi-criteria decision analysis in environmental sciences: Ten years of applications and trends

Author: Huang, Keisler, & Linkov, (2011)
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Multi-criteria decision analysis in environmental sciences: Ten years of applications and trends examines the use of multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) for environmental applications within the past decade. The literature review revealed that there has been significant growth in MCDA application within environmental practices. The review also found parallels between applications of MCDA across similar projects, suggesting that MCDA has been applied consistently within cases reviewed.

Desalinated seawater supply and all-cause mortality in hospitalized acute myocardial infarction patients from the Acute Coronary Syndrome Israeli Survey 2002-2013

Author: Shlezinger et al., (2016)
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Desalinated seawater supply and all-cause mortality in hospitalized acute myocardial infarction patients from the Acute Coronary Syndrome Israeli Survey 2002-2013 examines the effects of consuming desalinated water on hypomagnesemia and cardiovascular health in Israeli communities. The study presents data on rates of mortality in patients who came from regions that used desalinated water for drinking water compared to patients who came from regions that did not use desalinated water. Before the use of desalinated water, rates of mortality were the same in both regions, however, after use of desalinated water in one region, rates of mortality were higher in the region using desalinated water for drinking water.

Association between exposure to desalinated sea water and ischemic heart disease, diabetes mellitus and colorectal cancer; A population-based study in Israel

Author: Shlezinger et al., (2018)
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Association between exposure to desalinated sea water and ischemic heart disease, diabetes mellitus and colorectal cancer; A population-based study in Israel presents data on the impacts of drinking desalinated water on ischemic heart disease, diabetes mellitus, and colorectal cancer in Israel. The results revealed a significant increase in ischemic heart disease in the populations that consumed desalinated water as their primary drinking water source. It is hypothesized that this increase is due to lowered levels of magnesium found in desalinated water.

Global Review of Physical and Biological Effectiveness of Stream Habitat Rehabilitation

Author: Roni, Hanson, & Beechie, (2008)
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Global Review of Physical and Biological Effectiveness of Stream Habitat Rehabilitation is a literature review that assesses 345 studies of inland freshwater habitat restoration projects throughout the world. The case studies include projects such as road improvements, riparian restoration, floodplain connectivity restoration, instream habitat improvement, and nutrient addition, as well as many more. For each case study, an analysis was conducted on the techniques used, project outcomes, and overall effectiveness in improving habitat and water quality, and increasing fish production. The report concludes that reconnection of isolated habitats, instream habitat improvement, and floodplain restoration have been proven to be effective in improving habitats and increasing fish production.

The implications of drought and water conservation on the reuse of municipal wastewater: Recognizing impacts and identifying mitigation possibilities

Author: Tran, Jassby, & Schwabe, (2017)
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The implications of drought and water conservation on the reuse of municipal wastewater: Recognizing impacts and identifying mitigation possibilities illustrates how drought and water conservation strategies, such as water reuse, can lead to a reduction in effluent quantity and quality. The report demonstrates that as influent decreases as a result of drought and water conservation strategies, influent pollution concentrations (especially salinity) and wastewater treatment plant costs increase, ultimately leading to a decrease in effluent quality and flow. The report includes a case study of Southern California’s most recent drought and a water reuse decision support model (RWRM) to mitigate drought impacts on water quality.

Water Reuse: An International Survey of Current Practice, Issues and Needs

Author: Jiménez & Asano, (2008)
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Water Reuse: An International Survey of Current Practice, Issues and Needs presents an in-depth review of water reuse practices from across the globe. The main objective is to show how wastewater reuse is conceived and practiced differently around the world. The sections in the book focus on different aspects of water reuse, including but not limited to, water reuse by end-use type, climate and social/economic similarities, emerging controversial topics in the field, and contrasting case studies. The book is written for all stakeholders involved in wastewater reuse applications.

Assessing Location and Scale of Urban Nonpotable Water Reuse Systems for Life-Cycle Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Author: Kavvada et al., University of California, Berkeley ReNUWIt (2016)
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Assessing Location and Scale of Urban Nonpotable Water Reuse Systems for Life-Cycle Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions examines nonpotable water reuse at different scales to compare centralized and decentralized systems for energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The article presents a planning and support tool for determining the optimal scale and treatment technology for reuse in different locations and elevations.

Techno-economic assessment and environmental impacts of desalination technologies

Author: Mezher et al., (2011)
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Techno-economic assessment and environmental impacts of desalination technologies provides a review of desalination technologies, including energy requirements, water production costs, technological growth trends, environmental impacts, and possible technological improvements. The report also provides desalination policies from major desalination users, including Saudi Arabia, United States, Spain, China, Kuwait, and United Arab Emirates.

Why Do Some Water Utilities Recycle More than Others? A Qualitative Comparative Analysis in New South Wales, Australia

Author: Kunz et al., (2015)
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Why Do Some Water Utilities Recycle More than Others? A Qualitative Comparative Analysis in New South Wales, Australia provides a comparative analysis of drivers for water reuse at 25 different utilities in New South Wales, Australia. The statistical method employed is able to evaluate the influence of six different factors on two specific outcomes: 1) agricultural use and 2) industrial, municipal, and commercial use. They found that factors relating to economics are important for industrial, municipal, and commercial use, and factors relating to water stress and geographic proximity are important for agricultural use.

Water-use efficiency and productivity: rethinking the basin approach

Author: Gleick, Smith, & Cooley, (2011)
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Water-use efficiency and productivity: rethinking the basin approach is a response to a paper in Water International. The paper highlights major components of inefficient water use that were ignored, examines water productivity rather than just water efficiency, and discusses co-benefits. The co-benefits of water-use efficiency examined are improved water quality, increased production, improved water supply reliability, decreased energy demands, and reduced or delayed infrastructure investments.

Carbon Sequestration Potential of Extensive Green Roofs

Author: Getter et al., (2009)
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Carbon Sequestration Potential of Extensive Green Roofs provides data from two studies on vegetated roofs in Maryland and Michigan. The studies provide quantitative results on the carbon storage potential of extensive green roofs in both plant biomass and substrate.

Systemic solutions for multi-benefit water and environmental management

Author: Everard & McInnes, (2013)
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Systemic solutions for multi-benefit water and environmental management provides an academic, theoretical critique on the evaluation of multi-benefit systems. The report comprises case studies of successful green infrastructure projects, including constructed wetlands, urban ecosystem technologies, agricultural washlands, and integrated constructed wetlands.

Life-cycle cost-benefit analysis of extensive vegetated roof systems

Author: Carter & Keeler, (2008)
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Life-cycle cost-benefit analysis of extensive vegetated roof systems assesses the benefits and costs of green roofs from a pilot study in Athens, Georgia, including private and social benefits. The public benefits identified were avoided best management practice costs, energy savings, and air quality, and the private benefits identified were stormwater utility fee credits, building energy savings, and air quality. The costs identified in the study included lifetime construction and maintenance. The study revealed that green roofs were 10-14% more expensive than conventional counterparts, and therefore, recommended that a broader range of positive social benefits be included in the analysis in order to outweigh the higher construction costs and encourage the construction of green roofs.

Using economic valuation techniques to inform water resources management: A survey and critical appraisal of available techniques and an application

Author: Birol, Karousakis, & Koundouri, (2006)
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Using economic valuation techniques to inform water resources management presents a non-technical introduction to the economic valuation techniques of changes in the quantity and quality of environmental resources, with a specific focus on water. This report includes dozens of relevant articles that provide cost and benefit estimates of various aspects of water resources (e.g. environmental services). It also provides a case study applying the economic valuation techniques to the Cheimaditida wetland in Greece.

Hydrologic Shortcomings of Conventional Urban Stormwater Management and Opportunities for Reform

Author: Burns et al., (2012)
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Hydrologic shortcomings of conventional urban stormwater management and opportunities for reform contrasts two conventional approaches to stormwater, one of which is focused on drainage efficiency (i.e., flood control) and one of which is focused on pollutant-load reduction. The report suggests that stormwater management should address both pollutants and peak flow, and examine more localized stormwater management options that maintain the pre-urban flow rate of rivers.