How to capture rainwater and precipitation in drought stricken areas


Through the Elmer Avenue Neighborhood Retrofit Project the Council for Watershed Health and its partners have built the first “Complete Green Street” in the City of Los Angeles. Designed to reduce flooding, reduce water pollution, recharge our local groundwater supplies, increase green spaces, and enhance the community, the Project serves as a living laboratory to test and demonstrate multiple alternative storm water best management practices.

The Elmer Avenue Neighborhood Retrofit Projects capture, treat, and infiltrate runoff from sixty acres that flows to Elmer Avenue and the Paseo to the south. Best Management Practices that are demonstrated include two under-street infiltration galleries, bioswales along the public right-of-way and in the Paseo, permeable surfaces for walkways and driveways, front yard rain gardens, and rain barrels to utilize and capture water from downspouts, as well as drought-tolerant landscaping and drip irrigation to lower water usage and utility bills.

Construction of the Elmer Avenue Retrofit was completed in 2010 and Elmer Paseo in 2012. The Elmer Projects, during a year with average rainfall, will contribute over 13 million gallons of water to critical water supply stored in the San Fernando Groundwater Basin.

For more information on this interesting and successful project, go to:


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