Cindy Montañez of TreePeople & Becky Hayat of Natural Resources Defense Council’s water program provided the Los Angeles Daily News commentary on Los Angeles's need for smart water policy. Water Recharge is one of the nine criteria on our LA River Index. We see an opportunity for the River to be an answer, not just the channel.
Over the past couple of days, drought-stricken Los Angeles received about an inch of rain. But because so much of the Los Angeles area is paved, more than 3.8 billion gallons of that fresh rainwater was flushed into the L.A. River and out to the Pacific Ocean, carrying pollution and toxins along the way.
As Southern California faces a sixth year of severe drought, we can’t afford to waste this precious resource. The new climate reality demands that Los Angeles get water-smart — and fast.
According to a recent study by the Natural Resources Defense Council and TreePeople, if our two urban regions — Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area — captured their rain, our state could increase water supplies by up to 630,000 acre-feet per year. That’s the equivalent of filling the Rose Bowl with water 2,432 times — or more than the city of Los Angeles uses in a year!