View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


County to beef up efforts to capture wasted storm water

Posted: March 12, 2014 12:11 p.m.
Updated: March 12, 2014 12:11 p.m.

Citing local implications of the worsening statewide drought, county supervisors this week OK’d a plan to capture storm water that is currently wasted by literally running down the drain.

In an effort to pump up the region’s water supply, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich directing the Department of Public Works to expedite the construction of storm-water-capturing projects.

Southern California gets an average of 15 inches of rain during a normal year — enough water to supply 5 million people. But for the past two to three years, rainfall totals have fallen far short of the average.

“The county captures 95 percent of the rain that flows down the San Gabriel Mountains, but roughly 75 percent of the water that enters the Los Angeles River is lost,” Antonovich said in a news release issued Tuesday.

The motion directs the department to work with the United States Army Corps of Engineers to maintain and operate its facilities to maximize the capture of storm water.

On average, the county’s existing reservoirs, debris basins and spreading grounds capture and add 210,000 acre feet of storm water to local groundwater aquifers each year. Also added is about 45,000 acre feet of recycled water.

An acre-foot of water is enough to fill at least 4,356 bath tubs.

This week’s move by supervisors also calls on water officials at all levels of government “to operate and maintain flood control and groundwater recharge facilities to optimize storm water capture and recharge while embracing opportunities for increased environmental stewardship,” according to documents explaining Antonovich’s motion.

Working together includes efforts at all levels to ensure legislation addressing storm-water capture gets passed.

“In the Los Angeles area, our region’s water supply comes from many sources,” Antonovich wrote in a letter to fellow board members. That includes imported water from the Colorado River, Northern California water that arrives via the California Aquaduct, and local “storm water captured from rain events like we recently experienced,” he said.

Two weeks ago, when two back-to-back storms moved through Southern California, more than five inches of rain fell on the Santa Clarita Valley. They were the first significant storms of the 2013-14 season.

But water officials said that rainfall was a drop in the budget compared to the need for water statewide.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




Most Popular Articles

There are no articles at this time.
Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...