Introduction to Web-Based Tools
A set of web-based tools have been developed in partnership with Michigan State University, Purdue University, and the U.S. Forest Service. These tools are free and easy to use, provide quick results, can be used for the relative prioritizing of watersheds, can help focus research in potential BMPs within a watershed, and can be utilized by stakeholders in the development of watershed management plans. These online tools also have special capabilities developed for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) priority watersheds.
Michigan State University – Institute of Water Research
High Impact Targeting (HIT): HIT is an online tool that allows users to prioritize erosion and sedimentation reduction conservation efforts in the Great Lakes Basin. Users can compare watersheds by total erosion or sediment load, rates of erosion or sediment loading, and the cost benefit of best management practices (BMPs). Users can also view field-level maps, in 2D and 3D, showing areas at high risk for erosion and sediment loading.
Long-Term Hydrologic Impact Assessment Low Impact Development Model (L-THIA/LID): L-THIA/LID is an easy to use online screening tool to evaluate the benefits of LID practices. The Long-Term Hydrologic Impact Assessment (L-THIA) model estimates the average annual runoff and pollutant loads for land use configurations based on more than 30 years of daily precipitation data, soils, and land use data for an area. L-THIA/LID allows users to adjust the percent of imperviousness for particular land uses or conduct a lot-level screening analysis that consists of a suite of LID practices such as bio-retention (rain gardens), porous pavement, narrowing impervious surfaces (streets, sidewalks and driveways) and vegetated rooftops.
For more information, visit the Purdue University Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering or contact Bernie Engel.
U.S. Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service & Forest Service
Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) Model Online Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Interface: This online tool is primarily used to estimate soil erosion from hillslopes to small-scale watersheds typically within agricultural settings to determine the channel network, delineate the watershed and determine flow paths within the watershed. It is applicable at the field scale with input from climate, management, soil and topography. The WEPP tool was significantly improved for application in forested regions bordering the Great Lakes.
Other Web-Based Tools