Water is one of California’s most coveted commodities, and the focus of intense competition between stakeholders such as industry, agriculture, residents, and environmental interests. The state cannot afford to waste or pollute its already limited supply.
LGC's work since 1991 to help local governments build more livable communities also serves to protect and conserve water resources. It has helped promote communities like Village Homes of Davis, CA, that sport narrow streets (20-24 feet), lawns that slope away from the street and into natural drainage systems, and a well-connected pedestrian/bicycle trail system. Such communities help enable on-site water infiltration that percolates water through the soil, instead of releasing it to surface waters.
Native vegetation also aids in water conservation, by subsisting on annual rainfall. Lush lawns in deserts, in contrast, require vast amounts of imported water.
Trees improve water quality by intercepting and storing rainfall on leaves and branch surfaces, thereby reducing runoff volumes and delaying the onset of peak flows. They increase soil’s capacity to filter rainfall and reduce overland flow, and they reduce soil erosion by diminishing the impact of raindrops on barren surfaces. Irrigated tree plantations can also be a safe and productive means of wastewater disposal; reused wastewater recharges aquifers and reduces stormwater treatment loads.
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