Liquid Gold: Communicating About Stormwater in Los Angeles

Liquid Gold: Communicating About Stormwater in Los Angeles

Rachel E. Roque

Because of Southern California’s unusual climate cycles, it is important to think about a dual strategy for talking about stormwater. During drought, water security is easier to grasp. But during rainy winters, flooding and pollution are more dominant concerns. A full 60% of Los Angeles County is covered by impermeable surfaces like asphalt, concrete, and other materials. This means that rain can’t be absorbed back into to recharge the groundwater. Instead, it picks up tons of trash as it rolls down our gutters, into our rivers and bays. Cities are left struggling to pay the onerous costs of cleaning up toxic runoff. Los Angeles’ water quality is threatened by pollution from flooding and urban runoff.People, neighborhoods and businesses are vulnerable to dangerous and expensive flooding.