Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, Volume 223, Issue 7, pp 4253-4273

First online:

Effectiveness of Low Impact Development Practices: Literature Review and Suggestions for Future Research

  • Laurent M. AhiablameAffiliated withDepartment of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University Email author 
  • , Bernard A. EngelAffiliated withDepartment of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University
  • , Indrajeet ChaubeyAffiliated withDepartment of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue UniversityDepartment of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue UniversityDivision of Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Purdue University

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Low impact development (LID) is a land development strategy for managing stormwater at the source with decentralized micro-scale control measures. Since the emergence of LID practices, they have been successfully used to manage stormwater runoff, improve water quality, and protect the environment. However, discussions still surround the effectiveness of many of these practices, resulting in a reluctance to widely adopt them. This paper highlights evidence in the literature regarding the beneficial uses of LID practices. A discussion of how LID practices are represented in hydrologic/water quality models is also provided using illustrative examples of three computational models developed with algorithms and modules to support widespread adoption of LID practices. Finally, the paper suggests directions for future research opportunities.


Modeling Diffuse pollution Urban water planning Environmental impact Runoff Water quality