Low Impact Design Overview

As the expansion of civilization continues to rise, environmental abstractions are limited; rainfall-runoff volume is increased, while the quality of this runoff is decreased. The visible adverse impacts of urbanization include eutrophication, changes in flora and fauna, and physical changes in surface water bodies. However, these discernible impacts coexist with deeper, subsurface concerns not visible to the public; these include degradation of natural system hydrology and lower subsurface water table, as well as poor soil and aquifer health, all of which consequently affect the quality of our precious drinking water supplies. Due to lack of public education, government funds, or regulation, many times the visible symptoms are “treated” while the true source of the problem still exists and subsurface impacts continue to escalate. The term “sustainability”-commonly defined as the preservation of predevelopment environmental conditions, despite changes in land use, population, and urbanization- has become a catch phrase among many as awareness of these issues continues to rise. By way of this definition, true sustainability may prove to be impossible; however, with improvements in low impact development techniques, environmentally responsible planning, public education and implemented regulation, the possibility of achieving this goal is more likely.

LID retrofit can be implemented anywhere.  This is an example of a proposed LID retrofit design project at the University of Florida
LID retrofit can be implemented anywhere. This is an example of a proposed LID retrofit design project at the University of Florida
Water is neither created nor destroyed, however, population is increasing.  So we need to take care of the water we have!
Water is neither created nor destroyed, however, population is increasing. So we need to take care of the water we have!
Low Impact Development will only be implemented if enough people are educated on it, and care to make changes
Low Impact Development will only be implemented if enough people are educated on it, and care to make changes

Low Impact Development to Promote Natural Hydrology

Development takes a toll on system hydrology. Encouraging infiltration, groundwater recharge, and retention of stormwater flows can allow pollutants to be degradated biologically, can sustain drinking water aquifer levels, avoid man-induced sink holes, and alleviate erosion and high pollutant loading to natural water bodies.

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