The Connection Between Landscape Architecture And Water Quality: A Survey Of Landscape Architects In Texas
Davis, Andrea Lora
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For local jurisdictions and consumers, water quality has become importantas development pressures and expanding population has increased the strain on existing water supplies. Aging infrastructure, limited financial resources, and environmental regulations are forcing many users to seek alternatives to traditional water treatment and storm conveyance systems. Landscape architects can utilize many environmentally sound methods and technology to protect water quality. The opportunity is there to incorporate measures such as buffers, low-impact development, open space design, rain gardens, basins, and native plantings in the design process. A survey of practicing landscape architects in Texas demonstrated the trends of alternative measures applications and perception to water quality. The responses indicate the use of these measures is not prevalent. Visibility of projects remain limited to a select audience. Educating the client in the need for these measures is still required of the landscape architects. Dissemination of information media such as professional periodicals would increase the visibility of water quality projects. Another potential option is to establish demonstration exhibits with independent school districts, and municipal governments. More of the public would then be encouraged to consider the use of alternative measures in protecting water quality.