5th UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Laura Rankin
Session Name Poster Session - Policy & Behavior Change
Poster Number 31
Author(s) Laura  Rankin,  University of South Florida (Presenting Author)
  Sarina Ergas,  University of South Florida
  Mahmood Nachabe, University of South Florida
  State of Low Impact Development Practices for Control of Urban Stormwater Runoff in Florida
  Florida has numerous natural water features, springs, and estuaries that attract visitors and new residents annually. By 2040, Florida is likely to add 6.5 million new residents, who will mainly settle in environmentally sensitive coastal areas such as the Tampa Bay region. Incremental demands by tourism and population stress urban stormwater infrastructure, resulting in water quality degradation, eutrophication, and loss of freshwater ecosystems. In recent years, Low Impact Development (LID) practices, such as bioretention and rainwater harvesting, have been perceived as innovative approaches to stormwater mitigation that preserve green space and create opportunities for stormwater reuse, thereby making stormwater a resource instead of a nuisance. For instance, implementation of infiltration based LID practices improve water quality and recharge groundwater, which provides 70% of the drinking water in Southwest Florida. Groundwater replenishment benefits aquifer recharge, maintains stream base flow, and provides stormwater management mitigation. By continuing to manage stormwater runoff using traditional pipes and concrete, Civil Engineers can potentially remain part of the problem plaguing Florida’s waterways. The objective of this presentation will be to facilitate further implementation of LID in Florida by: 1) reviewing the science and case studies of rainwater harvesting and infiltration based LID practices, 2) providing recommendations and design guidelines for both new construction and retrofitting suitable for the geology and hydrology of Southwest Florida, 3) summarizing the holistic economic benefits of LID implementation, and 4) identifying regulatory and social barriers to LID implementation.