Green Infrastructure

Green Infrastructure and Low Impact Development represent sustainable approaches to managing storm runoff, especially in urban environments. GI and LID typically exploit natural processes such as infiltration, evaporation and microbial decomposition to mitigate pollutant levels in runoff before it reaches stream, river or lake. Implementing GI and LID in semi-arid environments, such as prevail within the Ciudad SWCD boundaries, can be challenging. Since 2010, annual conferences have been organized in Albuquerque to address these challenges. Documents produced for the annual conferences can be found here. Additional information about GI-LID, from the Xeriscape Council of New Mexico, can be found here.

Since 2003, Ciudad SWCD has sponsored a long-term demonstration project in Tijeras, NM illustrating low-tech, cost-effective green infrastructure approaches to sustainable management of urban runoff. Information related to the Tijeras Creek Restoration Project can be found here.

In another GI demonstration project, Ciudad SWCD and the New Mexico Water Collaborative partnered to acquire On-The-Ground (OTG) grant funds from EPA through the NM Environment Department under the Clean Water Act Section 319(h) Non-Point Source Pollution fund. With a private-sector partner we designed and arranged permitting for a demonstration green infrastructure facility, including a subsurface infiltration system, for storm water runoff from a parking lot. The UNM School of Architecture and Urban Planning also participated.

In 2021, Ciudad SWCD used grants from the NM Soil and Water Conservation Commission and the from the Alliance for Water Efficiency to construct a prototype passive rainwater harvesting swale and basin feature at the historic Gutierrez-Hubbell House in Bernalillo County, and to produce a series of instructional videos about how such residential-scale passive rainwater harvesting features can be economically and simply constructed and maintained. To view the instructional video series and to sign up as a Residential Rainwater Ambassador (optional and voluntary) please visit this link.