Drought Response in Los Angeles: Design Streets to Recharge Groundwater for Water Supply!
Pacoima Stormwater Capture Project is a Model for a Green Los Angeles
In 2015, the City of Los Angeles approved guidelines for street stormwater management and is working on an ordinance to require new green infrastructure for all public streets.
Green streets will be critical to satisfy a Los Angeles mandate to cut its use of imported water by half by 2024, said Public Works Commissioner Heather Repenning. Every time it rains, she said, 40 percent of the water now heads out to sea — after picking up street pollutants in its path.
“This not only lessens pollution,” she said, “but will replenish our water supply.”
“We will achieve the water requirements we have to have to ensure water quality and storm runoff is at the highest standard,” said Enrique Zaldivar, director of L.A. Sanitation. “Imagine if we do this across the city, how smart we’d become?”
Laurel Canyon Boulevard Green Street Project
In August 2015, work commenced on the Laurel Canyon Boulevard Green Street Project. This project aims to transform a funky Pacoima neighborhood.
A series of vegetated infiltration swales and subterranean stormwater capture systems, measuring four-feet-wide by five-feet-deep and varying in length, will be constructed between the street curb and pedestrian sidewalks. When it rains, stormwater runoff flowing from a 124-acre drainage area through the project site will be captured and infiltrated to replenish the San Fernando Groundwater Basin. The project will allow infiltration of up to 13 million gallons of water annually, enough to sustain 120 single-family homes in LA for a year.
Additional project benefits include decreased local flooding during rain storms, improved water quality, new sidewalks, curbs, and gutters, and learning opportunities through partnerships to help educate the community about watershed issues.