Water Wise

When it rains, Los Angeles sends billions of gallons of 'free liquid gold' down the drain

During one of this winter’s frequent storms, sheets of rainwater spilled from roofs, washed across sidewalks and down gutters into a sprawling network of underground storm drains that empty into the Los Angeles River channel. (Same goes for Ballona Flood Control Channel. Billions of gallons of rainwater
flow into the Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica Bay.)

You can reduce your water bill by capturing "free" rainwater.
Private homes cover 60% of our developed LA land mass. 

89% of our water comes from hundreds of miles away. 
Do your part. Capture "free" rainwater on site. 
Adapt simple methods described here. 
Plants and trees will thrive.



Thanks to these natural runoff filtration structures, we don't have to choose between great landscape aesthetics and eco-friendly design.


Diagram by Julia Cauller


Bioswales are a unique green solution to the problem of contaminants in stormwater runoff. Bioswales slow down and collect polluted stormwater runoff and then filter it prior to returning it into the water cycle. They accomplish this filtration with the help of two natural processes: filtering water by passing it slowly through porous material, along with phytoremediation, where plants remove contaminants. Bioswales can contain sand, compost, and rock trenches along with native species of plants, which are adapted to local conditions. The inclusion of local plants is also important on an aesthetic and educational level: these plants blend in with the local environment and can serve as a tool to educate the public on issues of native biodiversity. Bioswales are a small but necessary remedy to the unmitigated proliferation of paved surfaces in our car- centric world. Parking lots especially create massive concrete plains incapable of absorbing or filtering stormwater.

To learn more about bioswales, check out the Soil Science Society of America: tiny.cc/soil-science-society


/swāl/ • noun
a low or hollow place, especially a marshy depression between ridges.


Harmful fertilizers
Metallic compounds such as mercury and lead


Rain Water Capture and Reuse discussion by Jeanette Vosburg at the Culver City Garden Club  9.2.15. Capturing rainwater has saved 40% on the water bill from 2014 and 2015. Jeanette suggests choosing one or two of her ideas on your own property. 41 Minutes

Action Item For A Homeowner: If you own a home or unimproved land, consider capturing water on site. Exploring Rainwater Capture Options.pdf
Action Item For Activitist: 100+WAYS TO CONSERVE
Implications of Ballona Wetlands Restoration - Travis Longcore

Water Wise Related Material

Underground Greenhouse for Food Year Round

The underground greenhouse, has no expensive clear sides (plastic or glass), a cheap plastic sheet roof to let in more light than glass, and heat loss through walls to the air, which can be colder than the ground (57 degrees Farenheit or so), so it will be cheaper to build and run. 

Of course, it's a lot of digging, and the left over dirt must go somewhere.  Hint: Save the top 10 inches of top soil when starting to dig for use in the greenhouse.

Rain Water Capture: Treating Storm Runoff in a New York public park

Our web site adds pages to document many ways of capturing storm water, both private and public.  Grassroots Coalition has been showcasing public sewer and storm water cleaning since 2005, when a Japanese Designer presented on her grand success with the first public park sewer plain earth filtering.  This method is making headway here in the USA with a New York City first, called Sponge park.  Details at the URL below.

Rain Water Capture: LA Imports Nearly 85 Percent of Its Water—Can It Change That by Gathering Rain?

An article reference from Yes Magazine.  Why is it included on this web site?  The direction of short term change towards long term goals of Los Angeles Area water independence from imported water is half way told.  It's just one journalist's research of many residential advocates  in the LA neighborhood. 

Fracking and Ground Water: Protecting Ground Water

Protecting Clean Potable Water is the Central Issue.

At some point in the not too distant future we will need to choose between FOSSIL FUELS and WATER for farming, drinking, cooking, bathing, flushing the toilet, putting out forest fires, etc. Who knows how many open, unlined pits there are or the amount of illegal dumping or pumping is being done?

WATER & OIL VIDEO Farming, Fracking and Ground Water, Kern County, CA - by SpotlightCalifornia.com

Farmers and Kern County, California Commissioners' Meeting: Well Water Contamination California grows 2/3rds of the nations produce. Some farmers in the Central Valley farmers are buying recycled oil water from Chevron. Kiran visits the Central Valley's Cawelo Water District where the drought is causing farmers to use recycled oil water to irrigate their crops. She takes in the smells so you don't have to. This water is toxic. It can have 1 or more of 450 chemicals that oil companies use to bring oil to the surface. Hungry Now? Published on Feb 2, 2016.


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