Everywhere we turn (including last week in the Los Angeles Times), the case is being made that the combination of conservation and natural approaches is the quickest, cheapest, best — and eventually unavoidable — way to meet Southern California’s water needs. By taking these approaches we can also address pollution, help to fix our broken economy, and respond effectively to climate change.
Yet, somehow policymakers seem to be missing the point.
They continue seeking large expensive technological “fixes” such as new dams, new canals, and new desalination plants.
Right now Los Angeles has an opportunity to easily and automatically integrate conservation and natural designs into all the new buildings and large retrofits of existing properties at little or no additional cost, through a suite of approaches called “low impact development” or LID. LID works with nature (trees, rain gardens, mulch, etc) and technology (redirected downspouts, cisterns, permeable paving) to capture, clean, store and reuse rainwater right where it falls.
The City of Los Angeles is currently considering a Low Impact Development ordinance. It’s a no-brainer…but it may be defeated by forces resistant to change.