SUN VALLEY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — After recent winter storms that brought massive amounts of rain to Southern California, the race is on to capture that water so it can help us fight drought and climate change.
“We have done a great job getting rid of water. So now we have to do a great job of capturing this water before it flows into the ocean,” said Marty Adams, general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Los Angeles has a partner in this fight — the federal government.
On Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris toured the Tujunga Spreading Grounds, a LADWP facility in Sun Valley that takes stormwater from the Tujunga wash and directs it into the San Fernando aquifer. Harris wants to replicate projects like this.
“$12 billion is coming to our country’s western states and region to address these issues in a way that we can build resilience and adaptation and do the kind of work that’s happening right here, which is investing in smart ways to store water, so we have that water in times of crisis like droughts,” Harris said.
This facility is one of 27 dispersal causes that provide water to Los Angeles County. Instead of flooding the Sun Valley water due to the storms, this facility diverts it for storage.
“We recently went from the driest three years since 1896 to the wettest three weeks on record,” said Wade Crowfoot, the California Secretary of Natural Resources. “This weather lash is challenging us and our infrastructure like never before.”
Adams said the DWP is hoping for federal and state funding to build more projects like this.
“You’re not going to find a lot of big facilities like this that you can rebuild because you can’t find that open space in the valley again,” Adams said. “But now we’re looking at smaller projects that will really help capture more rainwater.”
Another reason Harris was interested in this facility: It relieves river systems like the Colorado. Harris’ visit follows President Biden’s visit to Northern California on Thursday, where he surveyed storm damage.