GIP-SWMM: A new Green Infrastructure Placement Tool coupled with SWMM

J Environ Manage. 2021 Jan 1;277:111409. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111409. Epub 2020 Oct 1.


A new Green Infrastructure Placement Tool coupled with Storm Water Management Model (GIP-SWMM) is developed for selection and strategic placement of Green Infrastructure (GI) practices. The tool supports GI placement at multiple scales - from a few city blocks to large watersheds. GI is a multi-benefit option for stormwater management and can revitalize communities while reducing sewage overflows and improving runoff quality. However, cost-effective planning and placement of GI to achieve management goals remains a challenge and requires an integrated watershed approach. An optimization approach was developed coupled with the SWMM to find optimal combination and placement of GI to meet target flow and pollutant load reduction while minimizing cost at a watershed scale. The tool includes 13 GI types and selection and placement of GI within a watershed is based on their capital cost and effectiveness. The tool generates cost-effectiveness curves (cost vs size of GIs) for discharge and pollutants. GIP-SWMM provides a means for objective analysis of managing alternatives among multiple interacting and competing options. The desired outcome from the system application is a thorough, practical, and informative assessment considering economic, and engineering factors. The performance of the tool was evaluated in the Meade-Hawthorne drainage basin in Rapid City, South Dakota. GI placement options were assessed for multiple target levels for discharge, TSS, E coli, and Fecal coliform. Cost-effectiveness curves were developed for discharge, TSS, E coli, and Fecal coliform. Total GI cost increased as the target discharge, TSS, E coli, and Fecal coliform concentration at the outlet of the watershed was reduced. The tool placed a larger percentage of the GIs at the locations where most of the discharge and pollutant loads originated. This case study demonstrates that GIP-SWMM is a planning level decision support framework that allows for optimization of GIs and is adaptable for use in addressing regulatory compliance and practices across the U.S.

Keywords: Cost-effectiveness curve; GI placement; Optimization; Stormwater management.

MeSH terms

  • Cities
  • Escherichia coli
  • Rain*
  • Water Movements
  • Water*


  • Water