Why L.A. Needs to Capture Rainwater

Rainfall is scarce in L.A., and the area's thirst for water is growing. Unfortunately, conventional land development practices – covering the city with hard, impermeable surfaces – leave few places where rain can soak into the ground.

Instead, the water flows across the hard surfaces, picking up oil, pesticides, animal waste and trash. It then rushes off the streets into storm drains and concrete channelized rivers that lead to the ocean. As a result, our precious rainfall – a natural resource that could be used to supplement local water supplies – is mostly squandered, while our rivers, streams, bays and ocean get polluted. 

This is a critical issue for L.A. County because more than half the water used by our ten million residents comes from distant locations such as the Colorado River. Transporting this water to L.A.'s faucets and lawns is expensive and wasteful.

Harvesting rainwater will reduce our need to import this costly water; supply us with additional water during dry months; and reduce urban runoff that pollutes our rivers, bays, and ocean.