Urban Land & Water - Water Resources
Low Impact Development and Green Infrastructure
The term low impact development (LID) refers to systems and practices that use or mimic natural processes that result in the infiltration, evapotranspiration or use of stormwater in order to protect water quality and associated aquatic habitat (USEPA).
So what’s the issue? In more urbanized areas, such as San Antonio, runoff is usually directed toward storm drains that carry unfiltered stormwater to local creeks or rivers. Even small rain events or low intensity events, can yield high concentration of pollutants that can reduce the stream’s overall quality. For example pollutants can have a negative impact on the stream’s dissolved oxygen, resulting in fish kills and building concentrations of other containments in sediment.
Green Spaces Alliance has worked through public and private partnerships to deliver LID education and other services, including the facilitation, coordination and implementation of small-scale LID projects at community gardens throughout San Antonio. Green Spaces Alliance will be investing more time and energy into planning phases of vacant lot redevelopment to ensure that LID techniques and best management practices are integrated when possible.
Low impact development is a great stormwater control measure in highly urbanized areas, such as San Antonio, and when done properly can improve water quality, reduce loads put on critical infrastructure and improve hydraulic function.