The city of Los Angeles has been making impressive efforts in light of the recent reprieve from drought-like conditions. The deluge that the state recently experienced as a whole, has precipitated new plans to conserve and capture the excess storm water for safekeeping, to be used at a later date. The strategies for capturing and conserving rainwater are abundant, and numerous projects are underway, as are ways to budget for sizable infrastructure improvements. The infrastructure in Los Angeles, as well as other California cities, is designed to take storm water and send it out to the ocean in an efficient, time-sensitive process. Because of the drought, the city is now analyzing other alternatives for capturing stormwater, as well as recycled water. Agriculturists are also creating useful and innovative methods for stormwater management, such as letting their fields flood over in cooler months in order to replenish underground aquifers, rather than diverting or draining the runoff. Currently, there are over twenty projects outlined which include the development of watershed management guidelines and tools, creating storm water data systems using more low-impact development and more ground space that slows runoff. The city is also promoting the use of cisterns and rain barrels as a practical, affordable way for homeowners to capture and store rainwater. The city has gained greater compliance and more support since it began offering residents rebates for rain barrels and cisterns. Homeowners now have a heightened awareness of the benefits that these conservation tools bring. Many homeowners are furthering their landscaping design to include additional methods for water capture and conservation, broadening the solutions for future drought-like conditions.
Interestingly, The Elmer Avenue Project, near Hollywood-Burbank Airport, tackled the area’s chronic flooding problem by creating an advanced storm water capture system, which not only employs catch basins and bioswales but also uses underground vaults to recharge the aquifer.