Water Benefits Calculator (WBC)
In collaboration with Limnotech, an environmental engineering and science firm, we have developed a tool that allows us to model hydrological impacts of different types of farm management. The WBC is a free, online interactive tool designed to give farmers and decision makers the ability to quantify how certain agricultural practices increase water retention and decrease soil erosion. The goal of the WBC is to help farmers prioritize the most effective practices to improve soil and water resource management while at the same time contributing the farm’s productivity. The improvements in these natural resources result in an increased water availability downstream for water users. The tool models the impact of 28 different agricultural practices, incorporating microtopographic and local climate variables to provide a best estimate of the impact on water and soil resources. The WBC is designed for coffee agroforestry systems and will provide a comparison between other types of land uses – basic grains, cacao and coffee systems. The practices included are key soil and water practices such as terracettes, live barriers, ground cover, and shade management.