Water Conservation

A drought is a period of drier than normal conditions, impacting or potentially impacting available water supply to the agricultural industry and municipal, commercial and residential areas. Drought causes reduced stream and river flow, a decrease in surface water levels in lakes and reservoirs, and an increased depth to ground water. The impacts of drought can also give rise to water quality degradation and land subsidence. Many of the western states, especially California, have been impacted by a severe drought for several years.

HELM is a strong proponent of water conservation and has the analysis and design expertise to offer a wide range of best management practices (BMPs) to mitigate the impacts of drought through water conservation treatments. HELM can offer creative and unique, passive and active, water harvesting design approaches that offer numerous, high quality benefits of the captured stormwater – benefits such as irrigation, operation and maintenance, and process reuse. HELM offers a variety of both urban and rural based water harvesting strategies, such as keyline planning and urban based rainwater harvesting.

Keyline Planning

Keyline planning is a set of techniques and systems that organizes and manages water across both urban and rural landscapes. A Keyline Plan is designed to absorb and hold water within an area to improve biological diversity, increase soil water holding capacity, and enhance the hydrologic cycle.

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Stormwater Harvesting

The intent of rainwater harvesting is to capture the rain where it falls for use in the future. Like Keyline Planning or Holistic Planned Grazing, rainwater harvesting establishes an effective water cycle through earthworks or other man-made infrastructure, such as rain barrels or rainwater cisterns.

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Low Impact Development

Low Impact Development (LID) is a total site design approach that conserves and uses existing natural site features and systems integrated with distributed best management practices (BMP) stormwater management controls to mimic and recreate the natural water balance. LID's potential advantages incude flood hazard mitigation, water conservation and water quality enhancements. LID can be applied on various scales: on site, within a project, or throughout a watershed. Depending on the scale, HELM has the expertise to develop customized LID alternatives that includes features such as Bioretention Cells (rain gardens), Cisterns or Rain Barrels, Green Roots, Permeable Pavers and Bioswales. We also have the capability to model LID infrastructure within two-dimensional Hydrologic and Hydraulic Models to evaluate the hydraulic performance of LID measures.

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