Using Green Infrastructure in Karst Regions

Introduction

For decades rapid development around the country has led to a proliferation of impervious surfaces, such as rooftops and parking lots, making stormwater runoff one of the leading causes of water pollution in the country. Rainwater collects on impervious surfaces, picks up contaminants and flows into local streams and rivers. In parts of the country that have karst topography, stormwater pollution poses an even greater challenge. The porous rocks allow polluted runoff to quickly contaminate groundwater, and concentrated flows of stormwater erode and destabilize the bedrock. Green Infrastructure (also referred to as Low Impact Development and  Environmental Site Design) can help resolve this intractable problem by using green space to minimize the impacts of stormwater runoff. Many communities in karst regions have been reluctant to use green infrastructure techniques because they can promote infiltration and cause water quality problems.With proper precautions, green infrastructure can guide a community’s stormwater management efforts and help preserve vulnerable water resources for future generations.