Mar 29, 2018

Los Angeles Plans to Capture Storm Water Runoff

The county is developing a plan to use storm water runoff to tackle water scarcity needs

storm water runoff plan in Los Angeles

Los Angeles County has developed a plan called the Safe, Clean Water Program (SCWP). The plan advocates for the use of green infrastructure to capture, treat and store storm water runoff. SCWP seeks to fund construction of cisterns, rain gardens and other green infrastructure with the end goal of storing as much as 100 billion gal of storm water per year, enough to meet the annual water needs of 20% of the county’s demand.  

With the majority of Los Angeles water coming from northern California and Colorado, the county hopes to mitigate the costs of importing potable water by capturing and treating storm water runoff. According to the Inquirer, during 2017 Los Angeles lost more than 100 billion gal of storm water, enough for 2.5 million families for one year.

“When you look at what we are importing into L.A. County, it’s about 60% of our local supply,” said Mark Pestrella, director of the L.A. County Department of Public Works. “That’s a problem from an economic standpoint, and from a pollution standpoint.”

The county is currently seeking input from residents on the potential program and hopes to have a parcel tax proposal by July 2018. If approved by the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, the proposal would be on the November 2018 ballot.