25 Multi-Benefit Resources


A Path Forward forCalifornia’s FreshwaterEcosystems

Author: Mount et al., Public Policy Institute of California (2019)
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A Path Forward for California’s Freshwater Ecosystems makes the case for shifting Endangered Species Act implementation from the species to the ecosystem level. This shift could allow for the creation of direct ecosystem-based objectives and increase implementation of multiple benefit projects.

Nature-based Solutions Evidence Platform

Author: University of Oxford (2019)
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The Nature-based Solutions Evidence Platform provides visualization and sorting tools for resources and data related to benefits from nature-based solutions. The data can be filtered by a variety of categories, mapped by country, or charted to show results.

The Marginal Economic Value of Streamflow From National Forests

Author: Thomas Brown, U.S. Forest Service (2004)
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The Marginal Economic Value of Streamflow From National Forests uses water markets to estimate the marginal value of streamflow in surface water bodies originating in national forests. Evaluating 2,000 western U.S. transactions, the authors find the value of water varies widely with location. This indicates local evaluation is needed for accurate valuation and general valuations are only useful for rough estimates.

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.

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.

Recreation Benefits of Instream Flow: Application to Montana’s Big Hole and Bitterroot Rivers

Author: Duffield et al., US Forest Service (1998)
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Recreation Benefits of Instream Flow: Application to Montana’s Big Hole and Bitterroot Rivers uses economic valuation to calculate recreational and downstream energy production benefits. The authors develop an instream valuation framework and apply it to a Montana river case study.

Assessing The Direct Effects of Streamflow on Recreation: A Literature Review

Author: Brown et al., US Forest Service (1991)
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Assessing The Direct Effects of Streamflow on Recreation: A Literature Review examines the relationship between stream flows and recreation quality. Most papers found a nonlinear relationship between increases in stream flows and recreation quality. Recreation quality increases with streamflows until a site specific point, and then levels out. This indicates there could be an optimum stream flow in water systems for recreation quality.

Water for Wilderness Areas: Instream Flow Needs, Protection, and Economic Value

Author: Brown, US Forest Service (1991)
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Water for Wilderness Areas: Instream Flow Needs, Protection, and Economic Value reviews literature to examine the needs of wilderness for instream flows. Instream flows sufficient for supporting recreation may not be sufficient for supporting wilderness needs. There is no consensus on how much quantity or value these flows have, but existence value techniques may be able to estimate this.

Nature-Based Solutions Evidence Tool

Author: University of Oxford (2019)
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The Nature-Based Solutions Evidence Tool is primarily an online catalog of peer-reviewed research that provides evidence of the impacts of nature-based solutions (NbS) on a wide variety of benefit categories. The tool allows the user to filter results in a variety of ways, including by intervention type, habitat type, climate change impact, effect of Nbs on ecosystem service, geography, and more. Results are displayed in a variety of formats, helping the user to understand the landscape of quantitative and economic research related to a variety of NbSs.

Water Funds Toolbox

Author: The Nature Conservancy (N/A)
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The Water Fund Toolbox provides a wide variety of resources, case studies, tools, etc. for groups seeking to create or advance the work of a Water Fund. A Water Fund is an organization that designs and enhances financial and governance mechanisms which unite public, private, and civil society stakeholders around a common goal to contribute to water security through nature-based solutions and sustainable water management.

San Francisco Bay Shoreline Adaptation Atlas

Author: San Francisco Estuary Institute, SPUR (2019)
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The San Francisco Bay Shoreline Adaptation Atlas offers practitioners and decision makers in the region a comprehensive, science-based framework for assessing, planning, and designing sea level rise adaptation strategies. The framework organizes adaptation strategies around geographically connected areas, called Operational Landscape Units (OLUs); these OLUs are explained in depth with specific strategies considered for each within the Atlas’ mapping tool.

NatCap Checker

Author: Natural Capital Coalition (2019)
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The NatCap Checker is a tool by the Natural Capital Coalition, created to help organizations make more informed decisions that help conserve and enhance the natural capital that we all depend upon. It is a self-assessment tool that enables practitioners to assess, communicate, and improve the level of confidence in their natural capital assessments.

Natural Infrastructure in the Nexus

Author: Ozment, DiFrancesco, & Gartner, IUCN, International Water Association, World Resources Institute (2015)
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This paper discusses how natural infrastructure, the networks of land and water that provide services to people, can help decision makers and infrastructure managers address interconnected challenges facing water, energy, and food systems, often referred to as the “nexus.” The paper examines reasons and ways to include natural infrastructure in this nexus, challenges that have prevented increased investment in natural infrastructure, and recommendations for moving forward.

Nature and Health

Author: Hartig et al., (2014)
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This article presents the state of knowledge with regards to human health and well-being from contact with nature. The article includes a discussion of the term “nature,” a review of relevant research including linkages between nature and benefits, and the gaps, challenges, methodological approaches that could be used for future research.

Green Cities: Good Health

Author: University of Washington, U.S. Forest Service, and Urban and Community Forestry (N/A)
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Green Cities: Good Health is an online compilation and synthesis of research related to urban green spaces and human health and well-being. The website includes introductory material, summaries of current research into the numerous benefits of urban green space, future research, and a comprehensive list of references.

Informing watershed planning and policy in the Truckee River basin through stakeholder engagement, scenario development, and impact evaluation

Author: Podolak et al., (2017)
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In Informing watershed planning… Podolak et al. evaluate the water quality and water quantity impacts of stream andl and restoration activities in the Truckee River watershed, in the context of regulatory compliance goals. Using the InVEST model to compare stakeholder-determined scenarios of different restoration activities, locations, and investment levels, the results demonstrate how these differences impact water quality outcomes.

Case Study Fluvial and ecosystem restoration of the Arga-Aragón Rivers systems by combining measures

Author: Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM) (2013)
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Case Study: Fluvial and ecosystem restoration of the Arga-Aragon Rivers systems by combining measures details the process and implementation of watershed restoration along the Arga-Aragon Rivers systems with the goal of reducing flood impacts and restoring habitat functions. The report provides measures involving wetlands, floodplains, re-meandering, riverbeds, revitalization of flowing water, natural bank stabilization, elimination of riverbank protection, and riparian buffers. The costs of the project, including the amount of money required to reimburse farmers for lost land are included.

National Management Measures to Protect and Restore Wetlands and Riparian Areas for the Abatement of Nonpoint Source Pollution

Author: U.S. EPA (2005)
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National Management Measures to Protect and Restore Wetlands and Riparian Areas for the Abatement of Nonpoint Source Pollution is a guidance document that is targeted at state level employees seeking management options for non-point source (NPS) pollution. The report provides guidance on reducing NPS pollution through wetland and riparian area restoration and protection and vegetated treatment systems. The report also includes further resources for NPS pollution management practices as well as relevant case studies organized by territory, state, and tribe.

Just the FACTS: Floods in California

Author: Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) (2017)
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Just the FACTS: Floods in California highlights key state-wide flooding concerns and solutions for California. The solutions presented include taking new approaches to climate change when assessing flood risk, requiring flood insurance and/or restrictions on development in floodplains, and better integrating flood management projects into overall water management. The final solution points out that flood management can have multiple benefits, including restoration of wetlands and rivers, aquifer recharge, and surface water quality improvements.

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.

Quantifying Watershed Restoration Benefits in Community Water Partnership Projects

Author: LimnoTech, Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF) (2015)
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Quantifying Watershed Restoration Benefits in Community Water Partnership Projects is a report that aims to quantify water-related benefits of Coca-Cola Company watershed protection, water for productive use, and water access projects. The report identifies nine categories of watershed restoration actions, including agricultural land practice changes, stormwater management, land use/land cover alterations, hydraulic/hydrologic waterbody alterations, recaptured leakage from water systems, wastewater treatment, biologic management, water reuse, and rainwater harvesting and aquifer recharge. The benefits quantified within this report include water quantity and water quality (i.e., sediment reduction), and the benefits not quantified include habitat improvement, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration.

Putting Green to Work: Economic Recovery Investments for Clean and Reliable Water

Author: American Rivers (2010)
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Putting Green to Work: Economic Recovery Investments for Clean and Reliable Water categorizes “green” and “bright green” projects that provide multiple environmental and economic benefits, including improved water quality and quantity, reduced runoff and flooding, groundwater recharge, improved habitats, reduced energy use, and overall water supply reliability. The report focuses primarily on green infrastructure and demand management projects, as well as leveraging natural capital for water management, including examples from specific states and cities with a focus on funding projects. The report provides a qualitative discussion of the multiple benefits.

California Water Plan, Update 2009, Volume 2: Resource Management Strategies

Author: California Department of Water Resources (2009)
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The California Water Plan presents a guide on water management strategies that can provide multiple benefits both regionally and statewide in California. The management strategies are organized by goals, such as reducing water demand, improving operational efficiency, or improving water quality, and the benefits are categorized under water supply, drought preparedness, water quality, operational flexibility, flood impacts, environmental benefits, energy benefits, recreation, and groundwater overdraft risk. The report also includes guidance on the quantitative analysis of multiple benefits for policymakers and water resource managers.

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.