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Rainwater Harvesting and Rain Gardens

Championing efficient techniques for improving water quality and increasing local water resources.

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Rainwater Harvesting and Rain Gardens Prevent Pollutants from Entering Santa Monica Bay

Water is a scarce resource in southern California. Despite its scarcity, it’s wasted as a resource when it’s streamlined into Santa Monica Bay via gutters, streets, and storm drains. As rainwater flows over urban hardscapes, it collects trash, oil, grease, and other pollutants along the way, ultimately flowing into and degrading Santa Monica Bay.

The Bay Foundation (TBF) is dedicated to improving water quality and increasing local water resources through action and community education with easy techniques such as rainwater harvesting and rain gardens. Rainwater harvesting improves water quality and increases local water resources by capturing, storing, and/or infiltrating rainwater directly on one’s property. Water may be stored in rain barrels or larger containers (cisterns) to be used during the dry season. Rain gardens receive water from barrels, roofs or other structures and allow the water to flow into and over the soil, watering plants and letting the water soak into the ground. This diverts water from flowing into the Bay, reduces pollution and reduces water use for irrigation. Often rain gardens are planted with native plants to support pollinators and birds.

In 2013, TBF was awarded the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Green Leadership Award for the Culver City Rainwater Harvesting Program.

Project Highlights

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Rain Garden Installation and Outreach

In 2015, TBF installed four residential rain gardens for a Metropolitan Water District of Southern California grant to assess potable water savings and stormwater capture potential. Across all four residential sites, potable water use plummeted, stormwater was diverted, and native plants blossomed and bloomed giving sustenance and support to birds, bugs, and animals alike.

Motivated to build a rain garden? Watch the video below, produced by TBF, to learn more.

 

Rainwater Harvesting in Culver City

The Culver City Rainwater Harvesting Program installed 396 rain barrels and redirected overflow runoff to porous areas (gardens and lawns), as well as one rain garden and cistern within the City of Culver City. A rain barrel, cistern and rain garden were additionally installed on the Loyola Marymount University (LMU) campus to assess construction and installation methods and allow monitoring of function, durability, water retention and water quality of these systems. The 396 rain barrels installed annually capture between 174,240 and 392,040 gallons of water that would otherwise flow into Santa Monica Bay. This program provided direct education to Culver City residents through public events and home consultations, as well as the distribution of educational and instructional literature.

Rain Garden Installation and Outreach

In 2015, TBF installed four residential rain gardens for a Metropolitan Water District of Southern California grant to assess potable water savings and stormwater capture potential. Across all four residential sites, potable water use plummeted, stormwater was diverted, and native plants blossomed and bloomed giving sustenance and support to birds, bugs, and animals alike.

Motivated to build a rain garden? Watch the video below, produced by TBF, to learn more.

 

Rainwater Harvesting in Culver City

The Culver City Rainwater Harvesting Program installed 396 rain barrels and redirected overflow runoff to porous areas (gardens and lawns), as well as one rain garden and cistern within the City of Culver City. A rain barrel, cistern and rain garden were additionally installed on the Loyola Marymount University (LMU) campus to assess construction and installation methods and allow monitoring of function, durability, water retention and water quality of these systems. The 396 rain barrels installed annually capture between 174,240 and 392,040 gallons of water that would otherwise flow into Santa Monica Bay. This program provided direct education to Culver City residents through public events and home consultations, as well as the distribution of educational and instructional literature.

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