Pump up the Volume
Expanding Local Water Supplies With Stormwater
SCWC has recently launched an education program in partnership with the California Water Foundation about the value and potential of stormwater capture in Southern California. We've made important steps in investing in stormwater, but there's more we can do.
It’s a basic idea: When it rains, we need to be able to capture that water, store it and then use it later. Today, about half the water from rain that could be used to replenish groundwater basins and increase local water supplies ends up turning into polluted stormwater runoff.
In highly developed urban areas, the water simply has nowhere to go. Unable to infiltrate through hard pavement, the stormwater flows down our streets and rushes through concrete canals, picking up all kinds of debris and chemicals along the way and ultimately polluting Southern California’s streams, rivers and ocean.
Billions of gallons of freshwater are lost every year because we don’t yet have enough stormwater capture systems in place. In this dry climate, we need to make the most of our existing water sources and use them as efficiently as possible.
Capturing stormwater is a common sense solution. When flows run high captured stormwater can be reused in gardens, rerouted with landscaping design to prevent neighborhood flooding, banked in a surface reservoir or infiltrated into a groundwater basin and saved for a future dry day. Capturing this stormwater before it makes it way out to the ocean also helps reduce polluted runoff.
This captured stormwater gives public water agencies access to additional, local water supplies that will help meet the demands of a growing population and provide emergency local supplies to help offset future droughts or disruptions of our imported supplies.
Public water agencies, flood control districts, cities and counties throughout Southern California have been successfully constructing stormwater projects that reduce pollution, prevent flooding and recharge groundwater basins and help fill surface reservoirs. But there is much more that needs to be done.
Using stormwater to increase local water supplies will take foresight, collaboration and commitment from our local, regional and statewide leaders. As we work with our partners to identify stormwater management projects and potential funding opportunities, we encourage you to learn more and become part of the solution. You will see links above that will allow you to download the Pump Up the Volume brochure, postcard and a PowerPoint presentation about the importance and need for stormwater.
If you have members or an upcoming event where you'd like to share information about stormwater, you can request hard copies of our brochure from Alison Joob at firstname.lastname@example.org or 818-760-2121.
Does your organization have a newsletter? Include our sample newsletter article on the importance and potential of stormwater and help spread the word.