Low Impact Development: Two Introductions

A trench drain leads to rain garden. Photo by R. Emanuel, OSU.

A trench drain leads to rain garden. Photo by R. Emanuel, OSU.

I have blogged a lot about Low Impact Development (LID) on H2ONCoast.  LID is a stormwater management strategy that emphasizes conservation and use of existing natural features along with a network of small-scale stormwater controls (e.g. rain gardens, roadside swales, pervious pavers) to more closely mimic natural hydrologic patterns in residential, commercial and industrial settings.  When it comes to curbing pollutants from the urbanized portions of watersheds, LID applications have been shown to be very effective in the long run–and cheaper! These techniques also slow down the pulses of stormwater that cause flooding and damage to receiving streams.  As one county professional in rural Boardman, OR puts it, the practices conform to “cowboy logic” by letting nature take over what is normally a very expensive, very engineered set of solutions (to pipe stormwater and send it “away”).

Last week, I spoke to the Association of Oregon Counties “County College” for new and returning elected county commissioners on the subject and wanted to share the slide presentation on the subject.  Download Introduction To Low Impact Development for AOC 9.17.09

Directly related to this, the Pacific Northwest Water Program, partnered with WSU Extension’s video department, and brought us a glimpse of what private citizens, local governments, and agencies are doing to prevent polluted runoff from rushing to water resources.  The video tour traveled to two high desert communities and a Puget Sound island to document strategies used in those diverse climates to manage rain and snow melt runoff.Three PNW experts then discussed the case studies and fielded questions from the audience.

Ten Tillamook County residents participated from our offices here on the North coast. You can still check out the tour by going to the WSU Conference Services website (though I confess I don’t know how long the video will be archived at the site–so if you are interested, don’t wait too long).


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