What are watersheds?

Have you ever wondered where all the water on the ground goes after a rainstorm? We often see water collecting in puddles or flowing on the side of the road during heavy rainfalls. But where does the water end up? Some of the water evaporates while the rest drains off into a river, lake, or ocean. 
 
This is exactly how a watershed works. Watersheds are areas where the environment collects and drains the water into one place. Any land that moves and drains water to the ground is considered part of the watershed. 
Our watersheds include groundwater and the natural environment that moves our water around. When it rains in our cities, that water flows on our streets. When it flows, water can pick up pollutants like leftover oil from cars or fertilizer from yards. A lot of this water goes into our storm drains where the pipes send the water to the ocean. This polluted water harms the ocean wildlife. Our landscapes can capture this water before it flows into storm drains and into the ocean. Once captured, the water can be naturally filtered and added into our groundwater supply within our watershed.
This is vital because we could avoid polluting our oceans, rivers, and creeks and refill our supply of usable water. Not only can we improve our watershed health, but we can also bring these health benefits to our communities. We have funding in LA County to create water capture projects. In fact, there are already projects built in areas of Los Angeles such as Bradley Green Apply, Normandie Ave Elementary, and Earvin “Magic” Johnson Park. In addition to capturing water, these projects include native plants, seating areas, and walking trails. This transformed the original space into one that is more community friendly and climate resilient. 
Climate change has worsened the drought in California. Many reservoirs and dams we pull water from are at critically low levels. It is crucial that we play our role in refilling our water supplies. We can increase the amount of reliable local water in our area with water capture projects. If you would like to get involved and advocate for a water capture project in your community, join our Sustainable SGV Coalition and meet other residents who are passionate about cultivating safe and healthy communities: bit.ly/ssgvcoalition 

See Also

Where does our water come from?

Is my tap water safe to drink?

Who takes care of our water?

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