riparian: adjective. ri·par·i·an \ rə-ˈper-ē-ən, rī- \ Relating to or living or located on the bank of a natural watercourse (such as a river) or sometimes of a lake or a tidewater. (From Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Riparian came to English from the same source that gave us “river” – the Latin riparius, a noun deriving from ripa, meaning “bank” or “shore.” First appearing in English in the 19th century, “riparian” refers to things that exist alongside a river (such as riparian wetlands, habitats, trees, etc.). Some river communities have laws called “riparian rights,” referring to the rights of those owning land along a river to have access to the waterway. Note the distinction of this word from “littoral,” which usually refers to things that occur along the shore of a sea or ocean. (From Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Yes, we call them bayous here in Houston, but our bayous have riparian corridors also.
So can our real estate developments. Instead of using concrete inlets, pipes, culverts, and large detention basins to handle our rain water runoff we can use natural drainage systems that look like creeks and bayous. They can bring our riparian areas up into our developed areas and the people down to the water. Many of us can remember playing in the creek as kids. Catching crayfish. Building dams.
In 2011 we had a severe drought. In 2015, 2016, and 2017 we had severe floods, including Harvey. Houston has been talking more about water, wetlands, development, growth, infrastructure, flooding, drought, water supply, water quality, and related topics now more than ever.
This blog will be part of the conversation. Leave comments, tell me what you think.
Michael F. Bloom, P.E.
PS: If you are a real estate developer interested in enhancing the economic performance of your project please check out this post and consider contacting me directly at mbloom at rgmiller dot com.