As developers strive to find a balance between profits and environmental responsibility, many are looking to water resources as more than just a way to demonstrate sustainability.
A connected system that starts at the small scale and eventually returns higher quality water back to the river, lake, bay or other body of water can become the centerpiece for the design –and lifestyle – of the community. From the roof to cisterns and rain gardens, from sidewalks and streets to swales and retention ponds; natural systems do double duty as highly functional infrastructure as well as open space, shade and habitat. Similarly, agriculture and parks can be used in low lying areas to buffer the community from flood waters and provide a destination for events and opportunities to connect with neighbors – all while reducing the irrigation needs.
This presentation will look at example Low Impact Design (LID) communities that have embraced water sensitive design to meet stormwater, water quality, and water conservation requirements in their efforts to create unique and natural surroundings. LID is now required in California due to Water Board and EPA permits and it is also encouraged as a part of the CEQA process. Attendees will gain a high-level understanding of the land planning, engineering aspects of water sensitive design as well as other “soft” solutions that are available to a broad range of community settings.