Learn more about the opportunities to reduce our dependence on imported water, prevent water pollution and control flooding through increased onsite retention.


This report examines the significant potential contributions available from four priority opportunities: improved efficiency in urban and agricultural water use, reuse and recycling of water and increased capture of local rain water.

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Following extraordinary water conservation efforts and considerable amounts of winter rain and snow, California ended the drought State of Emergency earlier this year but the long-term effects of climate change are likely to continue. Capturing and using or storing stormwater runoff when it rains can help communities increase water supply reliability. The following reports explores the opportunities for stormwater capture in urban and suburban California.

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Similar to Los Angeles County, stormwater pollution is one of the biggest threats to water quality in urban areas of Washington State. Discover how green and grey stormwater infrastructure helps improve the water quality of Puget Sound while preserving the quality of life for Washington State residents.

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This brief examines two efforts that demonstrate stormwater as a key part of the solution to extreme weather cycles and California’s ongoing drought – one by NRDC and the Pacific Institute, and another by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, TreePeople and Geosyntec. These analyses show how stormwater capture can provide effective solutions to extreme weather cycles and a secure water future – and how governments, agencies and residents can take action to help achieve both of these goals.

Read the full report: Rain to the Rescue

Investing in Water

This study reviews the projected costs from investing in infrastructure that meets the needs of water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities. Additionally, the report highlights estimates of associated economic benefits that would be realized if the nation chose to make these investments. These benefits include the economic opportunities created by water infrastructure projects, the long-term productivity savings to the customers of water utilities, as well as the avoided costs of frequent disruptions in water and wastewater service to business.

Read the full report here: Economic Impact of Investing in Water Infrastructure

California’s water system provides many vital services: supplying clean water for homes and businesses; protecting the quality of rivers, lakes, and beaches; preventing loss of life and property from devastating floods; and safeguarding the health and habitat of humans, fish and other wildlife. The following reports looks at the funding gaps in California’s water infrastructure, which include flood protection, stormwater pollution, aquatic ecosystem management and integrated water management.

Read the full report here: Paying for Water in California

The City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is responsible for providing the City of Los Angeles with a safe and reliable supply of water for residential, commercial, governmental, industrial and institutional uses. As imported water has become more expensive, less reliable, and more susceptible to limitations, stormwater flowing to the ocean has been recognized as an increasingly valuable resource for the region. The following report outlines how LADWP plans to implement infrastructure to address these issues by investing in projects that capture stormwater.

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Collaborative Solutions to Water Challenges

In this report, TreePeople focuses on the concept of a Los Angeles Unified School District Water Partnership project, looking at collaborative options that could allow for increased stormwater capture projects on LAUSD campuses. This partnership could increase the region’s water security while creating a pathway for major public investment in greening and cooling campuses for Los Angeles’ children.

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This report summarizes findings and recommendations from one of two projects in the first phase of the Multi-Agency Collaborative (MAC) – a partnership among the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Los Angeles County Department of Public Works and TreePeople. The purpose of the Multi-Agency Collaborative is to build a case for a collaborative, systemic approach to address the region’s short-term drought emergency and long-term water crisis.

Read the full report here: A New Vision for Water Management in the Los Angeles Region

Drought Responses

TreePeople embarked upon an information and best practices exchange program between government, research and community organizations in Australia and Southern California. The program is aimed at sharing innovations, best practices and experience related to community, business and government agency engagement in urban rainwater capture and water conservation practices. This study tour report highlights data that were collected on innovations and experiences related to urban water conservation, rainwater harvesting and other drought responses.

Read the full report here: Lessons From the Land of Oz

California and Australia share many climatic, socioeconomic and demographic characteristics that lend themselves to meaningful exchanges of knowledge and innovations. With the benefit of Australia’s documented experiences, California can learn what solutions worked and did not work in Australia. The following report highlights several lessons learned from studying the water and climate crisis strategies employed in Adelaide and Melbourne, and numerous policy recommendations that California can use to address its current challenges.

Read the full report here: Transferring Lessons from Australia’s Millennium Drought to California: