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Stormwater management in California is a crucial part of protecting the environment and the water supply from pollutants. Stormwater can be a real nuisance in so many ways. Yet in one of the nation’s driest states, stormwater could also represent an innovative way to overcome challenges faced by residents of California as a result of the droughts we so commonly deal with.

When droughts do break in California, the drenching rains deliver millions of gallons of stormwater, which is lost to human use as it ultimately flows out to sea. If, instead of flowing down sewers and drains, this stormwater was captured across the state for human use, enough stormwater could be collected to supply almost one and a half million households for a year. Stormwater running down drains is simply a lost opportunity.

Los Angeles is a perfect example of why a new approach to the harnessing of stormwater is so important. Winters (when rain falls) are short, and the city relies on import of water from the reservoirs in the north of the state and from the Colorado River. Eighty-five percent of Los Angeles drinking water is imported.

Historically, flooding in Los Angeles (particularly in 1938’s floods which killed almost one hundred residents) has seen city engineers create ways to remove stormwater from the city as fast as possible. Yet now authorities understand that capturing the water from rainfall is a much better option.

The State Water Resources Council Board of California is working on projects for the capture of stormwater. These will include building underground cisterns, installation of ground plots for water to soak into the ground, installation of new drainage systems across the state, and issuing backyard rain barrels.

Stormwater management in California will require even more attention to ensuring stormwater pollution is minimized. Stormwater compliance responsibilities will be enhanced so that water that is captured is suitable for human use.

CloudCompli offers innovative solutions for stormwater management and there are exciting times ahead as we look towards the day when stormwater is seen as a valued resource more than as a nuisance.