In the Water Resources: Stormwater post we learned that stormwater runoff can carry pollutants, such as motor oil, pet waste, and trash, into local water bodies. As the amount of developed areas expand, this means that there are fewer natural resources that can absorb rainwater. Stormwater runoff is one of the biggest contributors to water pollution, but there are ways to restore or mimic a natural hydrologic system that will reduce stormwater pollution. These systems are referred as low impact design (LID) and rely on infiltration or evapotranspiration to reduce flows into local waterways.
An example of LID is green infrastructure, which is a resilient system that slows runoff by dispersing it to vegetated areas, harvests and uses runoff, promotes infiltration into the ground, and uses bioretention to naturally treat stormwater runoff. Green infrastructure is becoming a new method to manage stormwater runoff because of the multiple benefits it provides.