Welcome to the Low Impact Development and Ecological Engineering Program at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center – Dallas

The Low Impact Development program’s main focus’ are:

Green Infrastructure for stormwater management.

Stormwater runoff is the leading source of water quality impairment in the US due to increasing urbanization converting pervious areas to impervious areas. The Goal of Texas A&M AgriLife Research urban stormwater program is to design and evaluate low impact development (LID) strategies that will sustainably reduce the impacts of stormwater flows and pollution on surface water bodies in Texas. LID also known as green infrastructure (GI) includes practices such as bioretention areas, permeable pavements, green roofs, and rainwater harvesting. Researchers are investigating field studies using monitoring equipment as well as watershed scale decision making processes using hydrologic modeling. The program is also investigating natural stream restoration design as a means to reduce pollution due to streambank erosion.

Urban water conservation

High population growth rates and dwindling availability of fresh water sources in Texas and beyond are putting strains on both urban residents and the natural resources. Low energy demanding alternative water resources such as greywater, A/C condensate reuse and rainwater harvesting can reduce the need for desalination and water restrictions. The water conservation program at Texas A&M AgriLife Research investigates the engineering, applications as well as the economic feasibility of rainwater harvesting, greywater reuse and A/C condensate reuse in urban environments. Water volume and water quality data from these sources are being collected and analyzed.  Recommendations regarding design, sizing, distribution and potential types of reuse (e.g. potable vs. irrigation) are being developed.

Natural Stream Restoration

Urban streams in Texas have been deteriorating due to the increased imperviousness from development and the channel modifications (straightening and lining) that have been done through the years for flood control and water supply. Instability in river banks has resulted in erosion and land loss, flooding (upstream and downstream of modifications) and water quality problems in receiving water bodies. The most prevailing restoration practices include gabions, concrete lining and riprap. There is a need for restoring streams using natural methods that accommodate urban development while keeping the stream stable and performing its natural function. This program provides education and guidance for engineers and beyond on the steps to undertake a natural channel restoration approach to stream restoration that takes into account the stability as well as the ecology of streams.


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