According to the L.A. County Department of Public Works, roughly 25 billion gallons of stormwater drained into the ocean from the Los Angeles watershed between January 18-31. Only 2 billion gallons were actively captured behind upstream dams, in spreading grounds, or by small collection projects. As Mark Gold, associate vice chancellor for environment and sustainability at UCLA, observes “we haven’t made the progress we should have” in expanding L.A. County’s water capturing capacity. According to Gold, between $300 million to $500 million a year is needed to “really transform the Los Angeles region” and secure the county’s locally-sourced water future. Gold leads the university’s Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, which aims to achieve 100% renewable energy and 100% locally sourced water, while enhancing ecosystem and human health for Los Angeles. The state’s infrastructure was also unprepared to weather January’s storms. UCLA researchers Michelle Miro and Daniel Swain cautioned that, with more rain to come, California must step up its efforts to prepare.
Source: When it rains, Los Angeles sends billions of gallons of ‘free liquid gold’ down the drain 08 March 2017, Los Angeles Times
Additional coverage on California rainfall:
After near-record Northern California storms, signs of El Nino rise 09 March 2017, SFGate
NASA images reveal impact winter storms have had on drought-ravaged California 08 March 2017, Fox News Tech