Saving Lots of Drops

In this environment of drought and climate change, creating and building projects that will capture rainwater in LA’s impervious communities is a challenge that we must meet. The Southern California Water Replenishment District estimates that in a single year alone, Los Angeles loses 58 trillion gallons of water to the ocean because of its paved neighborhoods. Yikes!

One rainwater capture idea that is gaining momentum here in Los Angeles is the designing and construction of “green streets,” which simply means using environmentally-friendly strategies that reduce, treat and capture stormwater runoff close to its source. The multiple benefits enjoyed by the creation of a green street often include enhanced neighborhood aesthetics, improved water quality, groundwater replenishment and more livable communities. This is certainly true of the proposed Laurel Canyon Boulevard Green Street Project, which is scheduled to complete construction in Spring 2017.

The Laurel Canyon Boulevard Green Street Project will construct a series of vegetated infiltration swales and dry wells along the northeast side of Laurel Canyon Boulevard between Terra Bella and Kagel Canyon Streets. During storm events, these swales and dry wells will capture and treat stormwater runoff from an approximate 123-acre drainage area and infiltrate it into the San Fernando Groundwater Basin. During a normal rain year, the Laurel Canyon Boulevard Green Street Project has the potential to replenish 13 million gallons of rainwater annually into underground aquifers.

As a cooperative effort between the California State Water Resources Control Board, LA Sanitation and the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, this project will cost approximately $3 million with $2 million of the construction costs being provided by the State of California’s Proposition 84, Stormwater Grant Program.

When complete, this project will lower contaminant levels in the Los Angeles River, greatly improve the aesthetics of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and capture enough water and infiltrate it into underground aquifers to supply 80 single-family homes with enough water for a year. 

Now that’s saving lots of drops!

Funding for this project has been provided in full or in part through an agreement with the State Water Resources Control Board. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the State Water Resources Control Board, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsements or recommendation for use.

Photo courtesy of LA Stormwater.

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