Benefit-cost analysis tool (IRP2-WP3)


In this work package we developed a Benefit: Cost Analysis (BCA) Tool tailored to assessing investments for water-sensitive cities. It is intended to support balanced and systematic decision making about these investments, and to provide evidence for use in business cases. The tool is based on sound economics and is fully consistent with guidelines prepared by Australian state and national governments.  The BCA Tool is part of a broader package of economic tools and resources, known as INFFEWS (Investment Framework For Economics of Water Sensitive cities).

For an outline of the features and flexibility of INFFEWS BCA Tool, download the Industry Note: Industry Note: INFFEWS Benefit: Cost Analysis Tool

Three different groups of users, with different needs, are envisaged for the tool.

Experienced economists. For this group, the aim is to provide a standard BCA tool that is flexible, convenient and easy to use. The tool should foster good BCA practice and enhance the comparability of different BCAs.

Non-economists who have been trained. For this group, the aim is to put BCA within the hands of sufficiently trained users who lack a previous background in economics. The tool should help these users avoid common errors and overcome challenges.

Managers who wish to understand BCA better. For this group, the aim is for them to become well-informed and effective purchasers of BCA services.


INFFEWS BCA Tool is made up of a package of documents, which should all be read in advance and continually referred to when undertaking the economic evaluation of your project.  The package consists of the following components:

  1. Benefit: Cost Analysis and Strategic Decision Making (pdf document): Covers BCA basics, guidance on strategic issues related to BCAs, and use of economic information, including BCAs, in strategic decision making.
  2. Rough BCA Tool - Guidelines (word document) and spreadsheet (excel): for a “Rough” BCA. This responds to the need for a very simple tool that captures the essence of BCA. It can also be useful as a first step towards conducting a full BCA.
  3. BCA Tool Spreadsheet (Excel): Captures qualitative and quantitative information, calculates BCA results and conducts sensitivity analysis to test the robustness of results.
  4. BCA Tool Guidelines (pdf document): Explains the structure and elements of the BCA Tool; information requirements and judgements needed to apply the tool; and suggested strategies for obtaining data for different parts of the tool.
  5. BCA Tool User Guide (pdf document): Provides a step-by-step process for entering the required information into the BCA Tool. Includes a template for capturing the qualitative aspects of that information.
  6. BCA Comparison Tool (excel): Makes it easy to compare the results from BCAs for multiple projects, or different versions of the same project.
  7. BCA Tool Training Resources, including a set of 10 training videos.
  8. Industry application reviews, including three reviews of the main BCA Tool application, Hartfield Park Managed Aquifer Recharge Project; Proposed Blacktown Green Roof Demonstration Project; Oaklands stormwater harvest and re-use project; and one review of the rough BCA Tool application, Ideas for a Waterwise Queens Park Regional Open Space.
  9. A worked example relating to the Princes Park Stormwater Harvesting project in Melbourne, Victoria.

Access to the INFFEWS BCA file (Excel Spreadsheet)

The updated 2021 version of the INFFEWS BCA Tool is available for all to access.  However, each individual must register for a copy. We are keeping a record of who has obtained a copy and may contact you for your feedback.

To download a copy, click on the 'Register Here' button below.  You will be directed to a the Monash Shop, where you enter your details and accept the terms and conditions. If you have any issues, email

Feedback or request for general assistance can be sent to

Last updated: 30th Nov 2021