Tools and Guides


Two men in field Watershed Planning Tool: Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF)

North Central Region Water Network

"This new watershed planning toolbox is intended to leverage modern data sources and help local farming communities better address soil and water conservation needs."

Collaboration Toolkit: Protecting Drinking Water Sources through Agricultural Conservation Practices

Source Water Collaborative.

"Are you interested in getting more agricultural conservation practices on the ground to help protect sources of drinking water? If you’re working at the state level, a natural ally is the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist’s office (part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture).

This toolkit, developed as a result of extensive collaboration between members of the Source Water Collaborative and the NRCS, offers a step-by-step approach."

Annual Phosphorus Loss Estimator (APLE)

ARS. U. S. Dairy Forage Research Center.

"APLA is a spreadsheet model that simulates dissolved and sediment bound phosphorus loss in surface runoff."

Water Quality Index for Agricultural Runoff (pilot phase)

USDA. Natural Resources Conservation Service.

This is a pilot Web-based tool to help producers easily calculate the quality of water flowing off their fields.

United States Map Surf Your Watershed

Environmental Protection Agency.

Find various information about your (or any United States) watershed.

Federal Support Toolbox

U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and others.

"The Federal Support Toolbox is a dynamic, evolving and comprehensive "one-stop-shop" water resources data portal with direct links to valuable databases, innovative programs and initiatives and state-of-the-art models and tools. This website also serves as a leading-edge resource for sharing ideas and water resources needs , best management practices , collaborations and partnerships and more for the water resources community in the U.S. and internationally."

Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox

Environmental Protection Agency.

"The Nonpoint Source (NPS) Outreach Toolbox is intended for use by state and local agencies and other organizations interested in educating the public on nonpoint source pollution or stormwater runoff. The Toolbox contains a variety of resources to help develop an effective and targeted outreach campaign."

National Stormwater Calculator

Environmental Protection Agency.

"EPA’s National Stormwater Calculator is a desktop application that estimates the annual amount of rainwater and frequency of runoff from a specific site anywhere in the United States. Estimates are based on local soil conditions, land cover, and historic rainfall records."

Chesapeake Assessment Scenario Tool (CAST)

DEC, Inc., and J7 LLC (with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

CAST "is a web-based nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment load estimator tool that streamlines environmental planning. Users specify the Best Management Practices (BMPs) and their location. CAST builds the scenario and provides estimates of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment load reductions."

RIOS - Resource Investment Optimization System

Natural Capital Project.

"RIOS is a free and open source software tool that supports the design of cost-effective investments in watershed services. RIOS provides a standardized, science-based approach to watershed management in contexts throughout the world. It combines biophysical, social, and economic data to help users identify the best locations for protection and restoration activities in order to maximize the ecological return on investment, within the bounds of what is socially and politically feasible."

i-Tree Hydro (beta)

State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry; U. S. Forest Service and others.

"Hydro is a stand alone application designed to simulate the effects of changes in tree and impervious cover characteristics within a defined watershed on stream flow and water quality. It was designed specifically to handle urban vegetation effects so urban natural resource managers and urban planners can quantify the impacts of changes in tree and impervious cover on local hydrology to aid in management and planning decisions."

Watershed Management Optimization Support Tool (WMOST) v.1

U. S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"The objective of the Watershed Management Optimization Support Tool (WMOST) is to serve as a public-domain, efficient, and user-friendly tool for local water resources managers and planners to screen a wide-range of potential water resources management options across their watershed or jurisdiction for cost-effectiveness as well as environmental and economic sustainability."

United States Geological Survey

Department of the Interior.

Offers an extensive array of water information and resources, including software for groundwater, surface water and geochemical applications.

Office of Water

Environmental Protection Agency.

Software, publications, and program descriptions from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Child drinking water Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS)

Environmental Protection Agency.

Provides access to information about Safe Drinking Water Act violations and enforcement history for public water supplies since 1993; see also Safe Drinking Water Overview for more information.

Scientist with erlenmyer flask EPA Microbiology

Environmental Protection Agency.

Provides access to Manual of Methods for Virology, Information Collection Requirements Rule - Protozoa and Enteric Virus Sample Collection Procedures, a bibliography of EPA supported research in environmental microbiology (1990-1995), and images of water-borne microorganisms.

NIFA National Water Program

USDA. National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

A cooperative national program to improve the quality of the nation's water resources. The program is a partnership of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and land grant colleges and universities.

Inter-American Water Resources Network

Organization of American States. Department of Sustainable Development.

"Builds and strengthens water resources partnerships among nations, organizations, and individuals; promotes education and the open exchange of information and technical expertise; and enhances communication, cooperation, collaboration and financial commitment to integrated water and land resources management within the context of environmental and economic sustainability in the Americas."

National Institutes for Water Resources

National Institutes for Water Resources.

Provides information from the 54 U.S. Water Resources Research Institutes.

National Environmental Services Center

West Virginia University.

Focus areas include:

Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials

University of Connecticut. Cooperative Extension System.

Project using innovative techniques to teach local officials about the sources and impacts of nonpoint source pollution, how different land uses affect water quality, and what towns can do to protect water quality. Many NEMO publications are available.


World Resources Institute.

"Aqueduct's global water risk mapping tool helps companies, investors, governments, and other users understand where and how water risks and opportunities are emerging worldwide."

Interim Economic Guidance - Workbook

Environmental Protection Agency.

"This guidance is for use by states and EPA regional offices in
considering economics at various points in the process of setting or
revising water quality standards."

Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR)

Universities Council on Water Resources.

"Disseminates information of interest to the water resources community and all concerned with our water resources."

U. S. Geological Survey Frequently Asked Questions

U. S. Geological Survey.

Answers to frequently asked questions on rivers and streams and groundwater and aquifers.