Modeling low impact development for optimal performance in Texas coastal zones

2012-2014 - $182,430

Fouad Jaber
TAES, Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Abstract

Stormwater runoff is the leading source of water quality impairment in the US due to increasing urbanization converting pervious areas to impervious areas. Coastal zones off urban areas are especially affected by such pollution due to the sensitive ecosystems that exists in these zones. Low impact development stormwater management is one alternative to the non-environmentally sound traditional high pipe flow stormwater systems that are commonly designed in cities. Variations in environmental, hydrologic and soil characteristics make the evaluation of low impact development practices at a local level essential for sound practices and management. In addition, watershed or watershed scale studies addressing the placing and the number of practices needed for efficient stormwater management are lacking. The objective of this study is to evaluate the performance of bioretention areas (rain gardens), rainwater harvesting, and permeable pavements in Texas coastal areas and develop criteria for the optimal number and location of these practices at a city scale to meet recommended water quality criteria using hydrologic modeling.