Low Impact Development

What is Low Impact Development (LID)?

Low Impact Development (LID) is a stormwater management approach that mimics nature’s hydrologic cycle by designing new development to slow down stormwater runoff (attenuation), increase groundwater recharge (infiltration), and reduce pollutant loads in stormwater runoff by filtering water through plants and soils (treatment). LID strategies include many techniques to reduce stormwater runoff from developed land, including:

rain gardens

Rain garden with small plants, two trees, surrounded by mulch

stream buffers

Stream buffer, a natural area adjacent the creek remains free of ­devel­opment

rainwater cisterns

Cistern for rainwater harvesting

tree planting

Young newly planted native trees protected by chicken wire

green roofs

green roof on a building; roof is covered by vegetation

pervious pavement

Permeable pavers with gaps between the pavers

native plant landscaping

Small native plants protected from trampling by wooden stakes and rope fence

LID Projects on the UC Berkeley Campus

The booklet, Reinventing Stormwater: A Tour of the UC Berkeley Campus, highlights innovative design features of LID water infrastructures on campus.

LID Regulations

As of July 1, 2015, UC Berkeley is required to treat stormwater from new development and redevelopment using LID techniques.

LID Resources

Check out these CASQA guidelines on how to design and build stormwater treatment facilities.

There are many LID resources out there on the web. Here are just a few to get you started: