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Saving stormwater in California

Los Angeles currently captures and reuses about 4% of storm water. With planning and money maybe that number could be 20%, which could help enormously during dry times. Las Vegas, where I live, has a huge system which captures stormwater, cleans it, then stores it in Lake Mead for future use. Sewer water is also cleaned and stored in the lake. Imagine the amount of water that could be saved if such systems were implemented in California. Let’s hope it happens.

The point is that with the conservative future, the amount of stormwater we capture could actually double. It could go to 200,000 acre-feet and if we’re aggressive – if we have the political will and the financing and the like – that number could become 300,000 acre-feet (or close to it). Now this is for the city of Los Angeles. What’s the water demand for the city? Maybe in the future 700,000 acre-feet a year, so the opportunity here is for stormwater to do much more than 4%. It could be as much as 20% or a quarter or something like that. So this is for me an important motivational slide about what’s the opportunity there for us.”