Supervisor Janice Hahn's Remarks at Board of Supervisors’ Meeting May 30, 2017 Item 10, “Regional Water Resilience Planning, Outreach and Engagement Stormwater Capture Plan”.
I strongly support this motion and do really want to thank the co-authors of this, Supervisor Kuehl and Supervisor Solis. I feel extremely honored to be on this Board at this time because I do believe this will be a legacy issue that we move forward and really make Los Angeles County a place where we are in compliance with our mandate but really we are doing the right thing and we are going to insure water resiliency. You know, we look at the history of our flood control channels and the Army Corps because at that point it was really just to make sure we didn't flood in our streets, intersections and neighborhoods and it was just a massive flood control. That's really what it was built to do. But we now realize of course, that if it does rain, we don't flood that those waters go rushing out to the ocean and not only do we loose that water but as the Indians say we have figured out how to pollute it, trash it, mess it up so that when it does go into our oceans it goes in there very polluted and many of our coastal communities suffer the brunt of where this runoff ends up going. So we need to have a much better job of figuring how to capture the runoff and storm water, treat it, recharge it and I believe this is going to be the way to do it.
I've heard that for us to comply or really get to that point where we are capturing our storm water and storing it, it’s gonna be about a Twenty Billion Dollar Price Tag over the next twenty years. And I think that's a number everybody needs to realize that is out there. By the way kudos to WRD for getting off dependent upon imported, expensive imported water. It was great to hear that today. Thank you to all the stakeholders that came down here and spent a really long time, three or four meetings to make your voice heard. And that is just the beginning as I understand it of this process. This is what we are going to do.
And one of my other colleagues said this is the time to begin to weigh in. Weigh in on what the final plan is. Go to those community meetings. Make sure your voice is heard ultimately in how we do this by engaging all of our stakeholders. I will tell you I am concerned about a couple areas in my district and I look forward to understanding how this will impact them. Of course Ballona Wetlands, it's a huge issue and certainly I don't think anyone would be in agreement of an alternative that would dredge the wetlands and really destroy so many years of what it has become and I hope again the input from the folks at Ballona Wetlands will play into the ultimate plan.
I wonder about Catalina. There's an island that is surrounded by water. It takes water to get there and yet they have a water problem, big time. And it will be a huge part of this ultimate plan is Avalon and Catalina and then of course Marina del Rey is an area where the storm water is running off and will be very interested in how the ultimate plan benefits them. So I thank everyone for coming. I'm proud of us for doing this. Make sure that we continue in our outreach and includes everyone. It is interesting to note that the last time this went through our school districts were the biggest opponents to that happening and we heard from a couple of them today and it just seemed like they're opposing this because it sounds like everyone has done it right but again I urge us to reach out to all the school districts and for them to engage and understand how important their input is to the final plan. So with that I support and am voting yes.