The robust growth projected for the Houston-Galveston region is forecasted to lead to the addition of approximately 500 square miles of developed area, including an estimated 6 million parking spaces, 780 million square feet of non-residential uses, and 3.5 billion square feet of residential use. This impervious surface area has the potential to increase stormwater runoff volumes and associated pollutant loadings into local waterways, Galveston Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico. Low Impact Development (LID) provides an opportunity to explore a sustainable way to accommodate future development and manage stormwater.
The purpose of H-GAC’s Designing for Impact: Regional Guide to Low Impact Development is to promote the use of LID as an environmentally friendly and cost-effective approach to development. If designed, installed, and maintained properly, LID can:
- Help enhance regional water quality by reducing and filtering stormwater runoff before it enters waterways.
- Reduce the chance of downstream flooding;
- Add value to development projects by reducing infrastructure costs and increasing marketability of a project; and
- Preserve or create on-site natural systems that manage stormwater, add aesthetic value and double as a public amenity.
The guide explains how LID functions, benefits of LID, and ways to overcome obstacles to implementation. This information is demonstrated through a series of site plans for five different land use types that compare costs and environmental impacts of LID versus conventional development practices. It also contains case studies showcasing successful on-the-ground projects in the H-GAC region.
The full guide can be accessed here.