How LA County Captures Stormwater In Neighborhood Parks
If you take a trip to Franklin D. Roosevelt Park near Huntington Park, you’ll see a skateboard zone, a soccer field and a few polychromatic playgrounds. You’d definitely see Angelenos everywhere, young and old, enjoying the California sunshine.
Capturing Stormwater in LA County
This is the web version of our How To LA newsletter. Sign up here to get this newsletter sent to your inbox each weekday morning
But did you know that underneath all of this infrastructure, there’s a massive filtration system that just might help us through times of drought?
Brian De Los Santos, your How To LA podcast host extraordinaire, visited Franklin D. Roosevelt Park along with Producer Evan Jacoby and Reporter Erin Stone to talk to experts about how all this works.
This ONE filtration system at "Rose", as the kids in the latest episode called the park, might not be able to fix all of the issues by itself, but L.A. County officials have several stormwater projects across the county that could help store up some necessary water for us. Several of these projects are completed and more are underway.
So, what's the county’s goal? Officials want the stormwater to provide 70% of our drinking water. Right now, it just supplies 30% on average. It’s going to take 50 years due to the need for huge infrastructure changes.
Brian talked to Bruce Reznik, the executive director of LA WaterKeeper, a watchdog nonprofit organization that advocates for the preservation and protection of clean water. He said that the city started to get serious about 20 years ago and four years ago, the county passed Measure W, the Safe Clean Water Program, which offers funds to increase local water supply and quality. Over a billion dollars have been committed.
It’s taking time, Reznik said, but it’s making a slow difference. Through the stormwater projects, the county captured 400 million gallons out of the five to 10 billion gallons from last month’s winter storm season.
“If we can start, doubling, tripling, where we're at now, that starts to be a meaningful source of water,” Reznik said.
But Reznik also cautioned the fact that we’ll be in a water crisis for a while.
“It’s our new normal,” Reznik said. “The reality is we have 10 million people in L.A. County and lots of businesses, and we all should be doing whatever we can. And the best way to address that is through these things like stormwater capture. It's gonna take all of us to do that, at the home level, at the business or commercial level, all the way up to more regional projects, with Measure W.”
Not only are these stormwater projects helping store up water for our future, the funds from the initiatives make city park infrastructure better.
I know you’re thirsty for more. Listen to the latest podcast episode to learn more about the process for our county’s recycling and filtering water at Franklin D. Roosevelt Park. And in case you missed it, read Erin Stone’s article about these stormwater projects across the county.
As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.
(After you stop hitting snooze)
- Flat Top, a famous scenic overlook now safe from home development after backlash from neighbors. The hilltop’s historical significance to a Native American tribe could be a reason why it was saved.
- The L.A. City Council District 6 candidates — who are hoping to fill in councilmember Nury Martinez after the racist council tape leak last year — participated in an online debate about transportation issues on Thursday. LAist will be having listening sessions for residents of L.A. City Council District 6 ahead of the 2023 special election. Click on the purple button at the end of the article to tell us what issues matter to you.
- Fernandomania is coming back to Dodger Stadium in August. Fernando Valenzuela, the Major League Baseball’s Rookie of the Year in 1981 will have his #34 retired.
- California plans to spend $2.2 billion over the next three years on student housing for several community colleges across the state. CalMatters’ Andrea Madison and Katherine Bent looked into what the state is planning for housing on community colleges and the impact it’s had on students who are now living in provided housing on campus.
- Good news: the worst of this winter’s COVID-19 surge, along with the fall flu and RSV, may be over. One possibility as to why has to do with “viral interference”.
- Learn about the history of Black silent films at the Hollywood Heritage Museum or dig into the history of Black horror films at Vroman’s Bookstore. Treat your boo out for an early Valentine’s celebration with a special dinner and movie viewing of The Princess and the Frog at The El Capitan Theatre or get heated with passion watching the Lucha VaVoom show at The Mayan Theatre. Check out all of the fun things to do this week here.
*At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding!
Wait... One More Thing
The Top Three Tea-Sipping Trends
THREE — Red Carpet Grammy Looks
Glamour had all of the red carpet looks from Grammys night at the Crypto.com Arena. My personal favorite was Lizzo, Doja Cat and new EGOT winner Viola Davis. Check out the rest of the looks here.
TWO — The Winners of the Biggest Night For Music Lovers: The Grammys
Sunday night was Grammy night and I’m still disappointed Bey and Jay did not invite me to the Roc Nation Brunch on Saturday. I’ll forgive her once she releases the prices for these concert tickets (*fingers crossed that they’re under the cost of rent). One thing I’ve always thought about was what it actually means financially for someone to be nominated for a Grammy and what it means to actually win one. NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas laid out the economics of the Grammys.
So who took home THE gilded gramophone at the most prestigious night for music?
ONE — Our Favorite Celebrity Cougar Honored at the Greek Theatre on Saturday
P-22, who was once known as the coolest cat in L.A., was honored through music performances and sombering remarks from the humans who loved him the most this past Saturday. The celebration was only supposed to last for two hours, but it ended up being 3 and a half hours long. Beth Pratt, the National Wildlife Federation California regional director and emcee for the event said there were 6,000 people who were expected to be at the Greek Theatre. My colleagues Julia Paskin and Erin Stone attended the event and talked to his human adult fans about what P-22 meant to them.
Got something you’ve always wanted to know about Southern California and the people who call it home? Is there an issue you want us to cover? Ask us anything.
Have a tip about news on which we should dig deeper? Let us know.