Land of Fire and Flood: How the Climate Crisis is Challenging Our Water Supply

Mark Pestrella is the director of L.A. County Public Works, which oversees 27 spreading grounds and 14 dams that both hold most of our local water supply as well as prevent massive flooding in the cities below.

Pestrella said he isn’t losing sleep over a megaflood. His biggest concern? The increasing severity of smaller, but intense storms — like many we experienced this winter.

LA Reuses Lots of Stormwater, but Wants to Save More

Hours after another storm soaked Southern California, LA County’s principal stormwater engineer Sterling Klippel stands at the base of the San Gabriel Dam, looking like a kid in a candy store. He gazes in awe at the thousands of gallons of stormwater rushing through this dam every second.

“Just this October, this facility was completely drained,” he says.

New LA County Project Will Help Collect, Keep More Water After Big Storms

After another big storm this week we will see much of the rainwater flowing out to the ocean instead of being captured for use.

Los Angeles County officials say saving more of this water will be key for dealing with drought.

Los Angeles County Collects 33 Billion Gallons of Rainwater in Recent Storms

Good news has surfaced in Los Angeles County’s ongoing battle with water scarcity.

The Los Angeles County Public Works Department announced Monday that more than 33 billion gallons of stormwater have been captured in the early months of the California winter storm season.

It will be used as drinking water and is enough to supply 816,000 people with enough water for an entire year, according to Los Angeles County Public Works Director Mark Pestrella.

Low on Water, but High on Celebrity, Las Virgenes Seeks Wastewater Purification Facility

A celebrity-studded, water-strapped region on the western edge of Los Angeles County has cleared a major hurdle for the construction of a water purification facility that officials say will help reduce local dependence on supplies imported from Northern California. The board of the Las Virgenes-Triunfo Joint Powers Authority this week approved a final impact report for the proposed Pure Water Project at 30800 Agoura Road in Agoura Hills — a facility that would purify the millions of gallons of treated wastewater that are used for irrigation or flushed into the Pacific Ocean.

Water Use Drops 10% in July as California Deals With Drought

Californians stepped up their water conservation in July, using 10.4% less than two years ago as the state struggles with a years-long drought, state water officials said Wednesday.

July marks the first full month that new conservation rules like a ban on watering decorative grass were in effect, which state water officials said helped make a difference. Water use started to trend down in June after a bump in April and May.

Parts of SoCal to See First Rain of February. Here’s When and Where

Cooling down from weekend highs in the 90s, Los Angeles County has a chance for rain on Tuesday, its first in February.

An onshore flow Monday evening will start to push high clouds east, bringing cooler air to drop Tuesday’s temperature by 16 degrees. Monday’s highs are expected to be in the 70s and low 80s.

Showers will be scattered and light, with accumulations no more than 0.10 inch, but areas closer to the foothills might see up to an inch. The light precipitation will continue through the day Tuesday, drying up Wednesday morning.

This comes as the majority of LA County continues to experience a moderate drought, with the northernmost areas and neighboring Kern County experiencing a severe drought.

Some Fear the L.A. River Could Dry Up as Cities Look to Recycle More Wastewater

Just north of downtown — and a stone’s throw from the growling 5 Freeway — the concrete bed of the Los Angeles River gives way to soft earth and an explosion of riparian life: Cottonwood and sycamore trees push skyward, while fish dart beneath the swooping shadows of cackling waterfowl. The scents of mulefat scrub and sage hang in the air.

For many, it’s a vision of what the Los Angeles River looked like before it was transformed into a massive flood control channel. It also serves as a rallying point for those environmentalists who want to see the river returned to a more natural state.

LA Has Plan for Network of Waterways in the Land of Cars

Kneeling on its concrete bank, Silva reached down through the water of the Los Angeles River and pulled out the perfect thing: a handful of mud.

He makes freshwater aquariums, and the mud of the river makes for the perfect base. “It has worms, nemotodes, rocks, it’s all there.”

With long hair banded back, he put the precious mud into two Home Depot orange buckets.

SoCal is Likely to See a Dry La Niña Winter, New Data Show

Amid California’s worst fire season in history, climate experts are predicting hot and dry conditions this winter. “On average there will be less moisture than we would normally receive here in California,” says Dr. Lowell Stott, a professor of earth sciences at the University of Southern California.