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How LA's Storm Capture System Currently Works And Why It Still Can't Grab Enough Rainwater

Dominguez Gap Wetlands body of water surrounded by green plant life
The engineered Dominguez Gap Wetlands in Long Beach filters stormwater and runoff from the Los Angeles River. Then the water is siphoned under the river to a spreading ground to the west.
(Sharon McNary
/
LAist )
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One of my favorite songs of all time about the rain is The Temptations’ “I Wish It Would Rain." Even though that song is about a broken heart, and less about saving a climate crisis, I think the lyrics are applicable to what’s going on currently in L.A.

It feels like we’re in a constant state of wishing the blue skies would go away and the clouds would pour down on us. Last week, our wish was granted.

It did help the drought some but not nearly enough to get us out of this mess. One of the issues is that, as a city/county, we are still not doing enough to capture — and save — that rainwater. 

There’s been some progress on that front since the last drought. L.A. DID grab hold of 1.8 billion gallons of water from last week’s storm. As my colleague Erin Stone reported, that rainwater was diverted to spreading grounds — “ponds that collect the water and allow it to seep into the ground to refill underground aquifers.” That’s enough to serve about 45,000 people for a year. But clearly there’s a lot more to be done to capture the rain before it goes into our local rivers and into the sea, which is where most of that water currently goes.

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Right now, there’s not enough storage space. Read Erin’s article about how the storm capture system currently works in L.A. and what more needs to be done to reach our goals and save water for when we need it the most. 

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

More News

(After you stop hitting snooze)

*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! 

  • On Saturday, congressperson Karen Bass pulled ahead in her race against Rick Caruso for Los Angeles mayor and now holds a small lead. Next update is later today. 
  • Orange County is still in a state of emergency as hospitals fill up with children who are dealing with infections related to respiratory virus RSV. Cases are rising around the country as health officials make pleas for kids to get vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19.
  • In case you missed it, performers at Medieval Times in Buena Park voted to unionize last week. The workers cited poor working conditions and low wages
  • Student teachers in the University of California system say they cannot afford to live in the communities where they work and go to school because they do not make a living wage. This has long been a problem but now a strike date has been set. 
  • Democrats secured the Senate over the weekend with a win in Nevada but the control of the House of Representatives is undecided as ballots still need to be counted in some very close races. 
  • The battle over the House wil “come down to California” as candidates wait on results of tight contests across the state. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Although pushback against President Joe Biden is evident in election results so far, the red wave didn’t materialize. NPR analyzes what that means from a historical standpoint
  • Tonight catch the Mermaid Comedy Hour at the Improv-Lab on Melrose, or on Wednesday come to the Crawford Family Forum in Pasadena for the One for The Books event, the first in a new literary series from LAist that features Danyel Smith, former editor-in-chief of Vibe magazine and author of Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop. Check out all the events happening this week here.

Wait! One More Thing...Top Three Tea-Sipping Trends

Elon Musk, a 40-something white man, in a dark suit and tie, stands in front of a black-and-white striped background.
Elon Musk
(Patrick Pleul
/
POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

THREE - Elon Musk’s management of Twitter Continues To Tank With The Surge of Parody Accounts and more…

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Twitter now has about half of the employees it had before Elon Musk’s leadership, and also less security and fewer privacy measures. Just last week, the company’s Chief Information Officer, Chief Privacy Officer and Chief Compliance Officer all resigned. Some Twitter accounts have masked themselves as real companies like Eli Lilly and PepsiCo. One fake tweet about insulin being free caused Eli Lilly’s stock drop. Over the weekend, KTLA’s David Lazarus questioned whether financial authorities should take a closer look at Musk’s management of Tesla and SpaceX now that he seems to have run Twitter into the ground. The tea is, there’s a long history of coverage on his Tesla and SpaceX dealings.

TWO - Teen Vogue Summit 

Just a couple of days ago, Teen Vogue hosted a summit at Goya Studios in L.A. starring Keke Palmer, Saweetie, Sabrina Carpenter and Baby Tate. At the summit, key speakers talked about political organizers, the power of representation on TV and media and balancing life and self care.

ONE - Black Panther: Wakanda Forever African and Indigenous Cultural Representation 

If you haven't seen Black Panther: Wakanda Forever yet, I personally think you're missing out! The representation of African and indigenous cultures lit up the big screen in a way that's not often seen. A lot of buzz has been popping up about Namor — Tenoch Huerta's character. Folks on social media are commenting about Mexico's colorism and how the media often only showcases white Mexicans (or light skinned Mexicans) as heroes. Tenoch himself had some words about the representation of Brown people in the media.

Also, apparently, Black Panther Producer Nate Moore, Director Ryan Coogler and Actress Angela Bassett showed up by surprise to the Chinese Theater over the weekend to talk about the film!

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