Posts tagged storm water

diamond valley lake reservoir

A few years ago I attended a California State Assembly hearing titled, “The Future of Stormwater: Capture, Store and Supply”, which was given by the Select Committee on Regional Approaches to Addressing the State’s Water Crisis. In addition to providing much of the groundwork for the passing of Proposition 1 (Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014), the hearing focused upon opportunities for stormwater to become a significant part of the Southern California water supply.

In the past decades policies and practices have changed to help capture and store stormwater, such as the AHBE Landscape Architecture projects described in Jennifer Salazar’s, “Under Construction.” Collectively, these efforts help to clean our rivers and oceans, while also capturing and storing stormwater. While these types of projects contribute to recharging of the underground aquifer, according to Council for Watershed Health’s Water Augmentation Study, increased stormwater capture could add an additional 384,000 acre feet of water to aquifers annually.

Improved watershed storage capacity is critical. If this turns out to be a wet El Niño cycle, we will be sending billions of gallons of water to our oceans, which will prevent flooding, but will not help recharge our state’s essential aquifers. Groundwater aquifers in the Southern California have the storage capacity, over 2 million additional acre-feet. And as Yiran observed in “10 Things You Should Know About El Niño,” California’s largest surface water reservoirs are located in Northern California.

Over the last decade, the issue of stormwater has transformed from a water quality problem to a water supply opportunity. And Proposition 1, with its $7.12 billion for state water supply infrastructure projects, will provide funding for more types of projects to “capture, store and supply”, if not in time for this El Niño cycle, then the next. More supply infrastructure projects will help California adapt to increasing the amount of water that can be stored during wet years for the dry years that will continue to challenge California.


Hike Up Taco Peak to the Not-So-Secret Griffith Park Teahouse: It seems all of Los Angeles is talking about the guerrilla art installation, The Griffith Park Teahouse, a structure which magically appeared seemingly overnight near Dante’s Peak in our city’s largest public park. Though it is still standing as of now, there are murmurs the hand-built structure is going to be dismantled despite the love and praises amongst city hikers who’ve made their way to visit and share photos via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. There’s already a petition to save it, so hopefully you’ll make it over the holiday weekend for a visit and the view.

Turf Terminators Has Gotten Rich Turning Yards Into Gravel, But Is It Creating Blight?: “We’re creating an environment that is more paved over than the existing environment and doesn’t hold onto rainwater. We have to have living plants. If we eliminate that, we could easily be pushed into an extreme drought situation.”

Metro’s Launching a Big Bike-Share Program Downtown: “The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority today voted to launch an $11 million bike-sharing program in downtown L.A. They’ve awarded a contract to Bicycle Transit Systems, Inc., a company that has launched similar programs in Philadelphia, PA and Oklahoma City, OK. A second company, BCycle, will supply more than 1,000 bikes and 65 bike share stations to the area when the program launches next spring.”

Norway Aims For World’s First “Bee Highway”: Beekeepers, biologists, civilians, designers, and politicians in Oslo are teaming up to create the world’s first “Bee Highway”– an interconnected series of flower fields and green roofs that together form a “pollination route” across the city.

A New Playground in the Bronx Soaks Up the City’s Problematic Storm Water: A new Bronx playground is designed to capture between 500,000 and 700,000 gallons of storm water using a porous layer of gravel beneath the play yard’s turf field, alongside a long bioswale filled with plants designed to act as a giant sponge, soaking up storm water.