BASINS (Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Non-point Sources)

BASINS is a multi-purpose environmental analysis system that integrates a geographical information system (GIS), national watershed data, and state-of-the-art environmental assessment and modeling tools into one tool. Developed for use by EPA, state, tribal, and local agencies, BASINS provides an integrated watershed assessment and modeling framework, and supports the analysis of point and non-point source management alternatives. The Climate Assessment Tool within BASINS assesses potential impacts of a changing climate on stream flows and pollutant loads.

EPA suggests that BASINS is a useful tool for those interested in watershed management, development of total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), coastal zone management, non-point source programs, water quality modeling, and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NDPES) permitting.

In 2007, the EPA Global Change Research Program, in partnership with the EPA Office of Water, supported development of a Climate Assessment Tool (CAT) for version 4 of EPA’s BASINS modeling system. Specifically, BASINS CAT provides flexible capabilities for creating climate change scenarios allowing users to quickly assess a wide range of “what if” questions about how weather and climate could affect their systems. Combined with the existing capabilities of hydrologic simulation models for assessing the effects of land-use change and management practices, BASINS CAT can be used to assess the coupled effects of climate and land-use change, and to guide the development of effective management responses. 

Publication Date: 2013

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  • Modeling tool
  • Tool (general)


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