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How LA Is Capturing Stormwater and Use Data to Increase Local Water Supply

Mar 23, 2016


Matt Petersen

Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Los Angeles



On March 22, Los Angeles brought its commitment and expertise on water to the White House, where President Obama hosted the first ever White House Water Summit, in conjunction with United Nations World Water Day. 

Angelenos, as much as anyone, recognize the importance of water to our daily lives — water conservation and awareness are part of our culture. We have responded to Mayor Garcetti’s call to action on the drought by reducing water use by 19 percent, on track to meet our January 2017 Sustainable City pLAn goal of 20 percent. This achievement is no surprise considering that our City uses no more water than we did 45 years ago, when we had one million fewer residents.

Yesterday, L.A. made a new commitment in partnership with the White House. The City of Los Angeles commits to capture an additional 12 billion gallons of stormwater per year by 2025. This is in addition to the over 8.8 billion gallons we already capture and reuse. Not only does this build resiliency into our local water system, it reduces the amount of fresh, valuable water that flushes out to the ocean during a storm.

This commitment to increase stormwater capture is also a critical step to fulfill key targets in our Sustainable City pLAn, including:

  • Reducing imported water by 50 percent by 2025; and

  • Sourcing 50 percent of our water locally by 2035.

To track our progress — and consistent with our focus on data-driven solutions — the Mayor’s Office and the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, with the help of the Bechtel Foundation, are hiring a Water Data Fellow to track, analyze and publicly display water use for all Angelenos.

I want to thank Angelenos for conserving and protecting our most precious resource. It is because of your commitment that we are making incredible progress and are being recognized today as a national leader. Keep it up, LA!


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