Conservation Matters January 2017

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

Green infrastructure, low-impact development to be focus of Feb. 2 Dallas workshop

Green infrastructure, low-impact development to be focus of Feb. 2 Dallas workshop

A green infrastructure/low-impact development workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m.-noon Feb. 2 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 17360 Coit Road in Dallas.

The workshop is sponsored by the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI), Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Nikki Dictson, AgriLife Extension program specialist with TWRI, said the workshop will address the design, installation and benefits of low-impact development, or LID, in urban areas. It will also include a tour of low-impact development structures at the Dallas center, including bio-retention/rain gardens, green roofs, rainwater harvesting and permeable pavement. 

“Target audiences for this program include engineers, planners, landscape architects, contractors, stormwater professionals, watershed coordinators and other interested individuals,” Dictson said.

The workshop is eligible for professional engineer continuing education unit credits and a certificate of attendance will be available for program participants.

Dr. Fouad Jaber, AgriLife Extension agricultural engineering specialist in water resources management at the center and course instructor, said green infrastructure or LID practices for stormwater refer to those that manage stormwater in urbanized settings in a way that minimizes environmental impacts while increasing cost effectiveness and sustainability.

“LID uses innovative planning and engineering in concert with conservation and nature to protect water quality,” he said.

Jaber said he has tested LID practices at the center and established methods to monitor and measure their effects on hydrology and water quality, including nitrogen, phosphate, total suspended solids, bacteria and other pollutants.

“Until now, there hasn’t been much data to show how adopting LID practices on a watershed scale in urban areas in Texas may help reduce flooding and improve overall water quality,” Jaber said. “After more than two years of testing in an urban watershed in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, we have initial data demonstrating the value of these practices.”

He said his research results show that if similar practices were widely adopted in Texas cities, the loss of life and property from frequent rain events could be considerably reduced.

Workshop registration is $50. To register, go to nrt.tamu.edu/schedule/feb-2-2017-green-infrastructure. For more information, contact Dictson at 979.575.4424 or n-dictson@tamu.edu.

The workshop is supported in part by funding provided through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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