Can Compact Development Minimize Regional Water Quality Impacts?

The EPA has published a useful document to compare development patterns on regional water quality issues, Protecting Water Resources with Higher-Density Development.This report provides additional support for re-populating Allendale and Ledbetter Heights.The development density average proposed to achieve a population increase of 14,000 to a total of 20,000 is approximately 8 units per acre. In applying the results of this report the reduction in runoff will be approximately 73% less than the current low density growth pattern of Shreveport. The following is an excerpt from the report:

 

• With more dense development (Scenario C – 8 units per acre), runoff rates per house decrease by approximately 74 per cent from the least dense scenario (Scenario A – 1 unit per acre); 

• For the same amount of development, denser development produces less runoff and less impervious cover than low-density development; and

• For a given amount of growth, lower-density development uses more of the watershed.

The follwoing is an excerpt from the conclusion of this report:

“Many communities assume that low-density development automatically protects water resources. This study has shown that this assumption is flawed and that pursuit of low-density development can in fact be counterproductive, contributing to high rates of land conversion and stormwater runoff and missing opportunities to preserve valuable land within watersheds.”