It’s Getting Personal


by Andy Lipkis, Founder and President, TreePeople

If you live in L.A. you are responsible for the City’s water quality, water supply and flood safety. OK, maybe not all of it. But together, we are all urban watershed managers. Everything we drop on our driveways gets carried to our rivers, beaches and ocean. Every time we waste water we add to the City’s cost of treating stormwater pollution and wastewater (sewage) and increase the energy-intensive burden of importing our water from distant sources.

Our unwittingly wasteful behavior comes in part because we don’t see ourselves as co-managers of the City’s budget and our water.  But times are changing and so are the tools that make it possible to powerfully change this reality.

Of all the options on the table to address, L.A.’s combined water, energy and economic crises, the one that could be implemented most quickly and that gives us the most personal power has often been ignored. It’s the one that considers the City an urban watershed and manages it as such.

Check out the 5-minute Miracle on Elmer Avenue  video below and see how people are already working with various agencies and each other to radically transform their streets and homes to manage the watershed. The partnership featured in the video was led by the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council with major participation by the City of Los Angeles, TreePeople and many others.

We, the residents of greater Los Angeles, have the ability to make this vision of health a reality throughout the region. It can start with simple steps you can take at your home, school, or in your neighborhood. Visit and see what personal actions you can start taking today!

Check out Andy Lipkis’ bio here:


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