Powerful droughts. Flash floods. Fire. Erosion. Urban heat island effect. Aging and outmoded infrastructure. Polluted rivers. Los Angeles faces critical challenges to provide clean and reliable water supplies, and resilience for climate-related hazards such as drought and flood for the millions of people that live here.
The USGS estimates that in an average year, nearly 200 billion gallons of water drains away to the ocean, carrying with it pollutants that are harmful to our communities and aquatic life.
At the same time, neighborhoods across Los Angeles County have been designed to drain rainwater into the ocean as quickly as possible. Engineers have long focused on large infrastructure projects to meet our flooding challenges and drinking water needs. However, we no longer have the luxury of relying on these large projects to allow us to be inefficient with the rest of our land and water.
Climate change is creating more extreme conditions, leading to longer dry periods and more intense storms, which is challenging community’s abilities to be what we call “climate resilient”. A community is climate resilient when prepared for inevitable difficult periods like drought, and built to last through disasters we expect such as floods and fires. If a community is not climate resilient, consequences may include extreme stress, property damage, economic impacts, and even physical harm.
A Solution for COMMUNITY RESILIENCE
Water LA provides homes and communities with the tools they need to capture, conserve, and reuse local water sources throughout Los Angeles.
The purpose of Water LA is to empower communities and individuals to make active water management decisions through small, nature-based solutions implemented in the gardens, lawns, and sidewalks of private residences.
With more than 1.68 million residential properties in Los Angeles County, private residences represent a majority of the region’s developed land area. Through Water LA’s six strategies, residents can play a substantial role in building climate resilient communities and shifting the region’s dependency on imported water. The simple and cost-effective set of landscape strategies capture, conserve and reuse water, either from rain storms or through the conservation and reuse of water at home. Through the introduction of healthy plants and soil, water pollutants may be treated biologically before continuing on in the water cycle.
Water LA provides communities with the tools necessary to treasure our local resources, improve the quality of life, and face the region’s environmental challenges collectively.