Why Municipalities Should Promote and Encourage LID
Times, they are “a chang’in”.
Over the past few weeks, our younger generation, our students; elementary, middle school, high school and university, have bonded together to bring unavoidable attention to the dangers associated with climate change.
Climate change and the impact on the environment, on the earth, on our lives and on future generations has been a topic of conversation and in media for years, however, it has taken the efforts of our students to propel it and escalate it to a world-wide, unifying concern that will not dissipate.
How enlightening it is to see how the efforts of our young people, amplified by the magic of social media, are truly starting to impact meaningful changes.
Climate Change is Real
Weather patterns are changing, the earth and our ecosystems are changing and the impact, most often negative impact, is being felt by all components of life as we know it like the fish, birds, animals, vegetation and of course, humans.
Our efforts have to be concentrated in two main areas; how to reduce and hopefully reverse the factors leading to climate change as well as how to manage the aspects of our lives which are sensitive to the changes caused by our “new normal”.
Suggestions about what we can do to reduce and reverse climate change is a topic that warrants its own discussion. Suggestions on how to cope and manage the effects of climate change are multifaceted and can be dealt with in categories such as energy, waste and water.
Water includes both waste water which should be reduced and refined and storm water which can be considered a natural resource if dealt with appropriately.
How New Design and Engineering Techniques Can Help
New design and engineering techniques include those technologies thought of as LID (low impact development). Incorporating LID alternatives into designs or residential areas as well as commercial, industrial and municipal, ensures that more storm water is captured and used for eco-friendly applications such as recharging the aquifers rather than discharged, often as polluted runoff.
LID alternatives have many additional benefits such as reducing the risk of expensive and damaging flooding, decreasing the run off entering our aging and in sufficient drainage infrastructure and enhancing the natural ecosystems.
As with most changes, in order to enhance the acceptance rate of LID it is imperative that municipalities not only promote and encourage these new designs and technologies, they should also implement and include them into municipal projects. There is no stronger teaching tool then “leading by example”.
Municipalities which include LID technologies into their projects not only encourage others to follow in their footsteps, but by including LID and managing storm water on site “where it lands” benefits the communities, the environment and the earth.
All departments of the municipalities including parks and recreation, engineering, water resources, maintenance and even cemeteries should meet regularly for updates on new approaches including LID so their permitting and zoning divisions can stay abreast of changes and can make it as easy as possible for people to include and embrace LID and green infrastructure.