Urban Acupuncture to Cure Drought
Sylvia and I are the dirt diggers pushing this idea, and we have happily discovered that Melanie Winter of Water LA has already figured out how to build coalitions to get the word out and to organize neighborhoods for workshop trainings and mutual, community-building effort. Removing a 2-foot section of curb ushers gutter water into a trench in the parking strip studded with river stones to keep the dirt sides of this “swale” from falling in. A tree at the bottom gets occasional deep watering during storms; native plants add beauty. Or, if you are not a do-it-yourselfer, Melanie will train installers in a green jobs program.
60% of the urban area is residential properties, so the amount of water conserved will be considerable, and a better plan than just using less of the water imported from Northern California. If each household creates a parking strip swale, this “Urban Acupuncture” will reduce the amount of water reaching storm drains. LA County now requires each city to clean water that reaches their drains, so Pasadena will save time and money by working with Water LA to reduce runoff.
Beautiful Swales has told Pasadena Planning and Water and Power Departments about the work of Water LA and invited their staff to hear Melanie Winter describe her program in detail at the Environmental Advisory Commission meeting at 6:00 pm October 11 at the Permit Center, 175 N. Garfield Ave. Please come to learn how you can make a swale in your parking strip and to show the Commission that Pasadenans support conserving rainwater, a precious resource. And visit https://www.facebook.com/Beautiful-Swales-999988803354733 to see more photos that show why we call them beautiful swales.
— Lin Griffith
Photo by Sylvia Holmes.