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  • Expanding Local Water Supplies with Stormwater

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    Content provided by Fiona Hutton & Associates

    Water is vital to every business in this state;  it is the lifeblood of California’s economy.  That is why we need to work to make our imported supplies more reliable,  while also exploring local options, like stormwater capture.         

    Stormwater capture is a basic idea: When it rains, we need to be able to capture that water, store it and then use it later.  Today, about half the rain water in Southern California that could be used to replenish groundwater basins and increase local water supplies ends up turning into polluted stormwater runoff. 

    In developed urban areas, the water simply has nowhere to go. Stormwater flows down streets and concrete canals, picking up debris and chemicals and ultimately polluting our streams, rivers and ocean.

    A number of stormwater projects have been implemented throughout the Southland, resulting in about 10% of our water supplies coming from stormwater each year. A great start, but with the the right infrastructure it could be double that number.

    Captured stormwater can be reused in gardens, rerouted with landscaping design to prevent flooding, banked in a surface reservoir or infiltrated into a groundwater basin and saved for future dry periods. Capturing stormwater also helps reduce polluted runoff.

    This water gives public water agencies access to additional supplies that will help meet the demands of a growing population and provide emergency supplies to help offset future droughts or disruptions of imported supplies. Expanding efforts to increase stormwater capture will play an essential role in the future of Southern California’s water supply.

    The Southern California Water Committee (SCWC) recently launched “Pump Up The Volume” a stormwater education program, sponsored by the California Water Foundation, to help raise awareness and educate the public about this important water supply source. Please visit SCWC’s “Pump Up The Volume” webpage on www.socalwater.org for more information or to download the informational brochure, postcard or PowerPoint.

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