EDITOR’S NOTE: Multimedia journalist Sarina Sandoval spoke with the facilities and operations manager at Chino Basin Water Conservation District about capturing and saving storm water. Click the arrow above to watch the video.
LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The series of winter storms that slammed Southern California has led to the capture of more than 33 billion gallons of stormwater that can be used as future drinking water in Los Angeles County, the county Public Works director announced Monday.
That amount of water could supply 816,000 people with water for a year, according to the county. The stormwater was captured within the “first few months of our winter storm season,” according to Mark Pestrella.
“This is great news for the county and the region,” Pestrella said. “We’re working with our water partners to increase the region’s capacity to capture, clean and conserve stormwater runoff, while investing with equity in communities through the Safe Clean Water Program.”
The program, adopted by voters in 2018 through Measure W, aims to increase local water supply through capturing stormwater and improving water quality.
Approximately 98% of stormwater runoff collected from the San Gabriel River and Rio Hondo Channel is conserved, according to officials.
The county Public Works Department operates 14 major dams and 620 miles of rivers and flood control channels.