Do We Need Mandatory Rainwater Capture? Do We Need Mandatory Rainwater Capture?

Do We Need Mandatory Rainwater Capture?

by Andrew Price

February 6, 2010
It looks like Los Angeles may soon require that people capture rainwater and do something responsible with it, rather than letting it run into storm drains. From the Los Angeles Times:
Under the ordinance, builders would be required to use rainwater storage tanks, permeable pavement, infiltration swales or curb bump-outs to manage the water where it falls. Builders unable to manage 100% of a project's runoff on site would be required to pay a penalty of $13 a gallon of runoff not handled there -- a requirement the Building Industry Assn. has been fighting.

The law would apply to "new homes, larger developments and some redevelopments." It might be a bear to enforce, but I think the effect of the law would be more developers building smart water management systems into their plans from the outset. That's another thing for them to worry about-that's why the building industry is fighting it-but it would relieve some of the strain on California's reservoirs and help prevent polluted runoff from flowing into the ocean. Is water management on the LEED checklist? Perhaps that could be provided as a carrot.

Photo (cc) from Flickr user Deacon Steve.

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Do We Need Mandatory Rainwater Capture?