Institute for Water Resources

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Environmental and Social Benefits

Biodiversity Security Index (BSI) Implementation Project

The BSI concept has been described and vetted by peer review. The BSI indicates the environmental benefits gained from securing desired ecosystem biodiversity from threat of permanent extinction. The unit of value is a viable population unit (VPU) determined by the number of individuals required to establish and sustain a population unit in the restored project area. The value of an additional viable population unit is zero for species that are secure from extinction  and it increases as species become less secure, the distinctiveness of species attributes increases, and unmanaged risk faced by the populations in the project area decreases. Unlike other indicators, the BSI indicates long-term sustainability of the benefit and is directly comparable across plans, projects and programs. While the BSI is conceptually acceptable for ecosystem restoration planning purposes, case study of project planning applications needs to be done to evaluate practicality. Before project case study, BSI application manuals need to be developed for planner integration into the USACE planning process. In particular, this requires explicit directions for managing the risks faced by populations that are desired in the project area and for estimating the risk that remains unmanaged (residual risk). If practicality is demonstrated, training and consultation services need to be developed for mass application. Integration of the BSI or BSI elements in planning tools is an important aspect of application. This will start with integration into the IWR Planning Suite model and the USACE Watershed Investment Tool.

Multi-Metrics For Budget

The purpose of this project is  to develop multi-metric budgeting criteria that includes Biodiversity Security Index, Social Vulnerability Index, and various economic measures.