Los Angeles public works uses cloud-seeding to help capture more storm runoff

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The race to save storm water started well before rain falls from the sky in Los Angeles. (KABC)

The race to save storm water started well before rain fell from the sky in Los Angeles.

Kerjon Lee, spokesperson for Los Angeles County public works, said in an average year the department catches enough storm water to serve 2 million people.

"These basins are constructed in a way that allows water to percolate down into the groundwater system. Then our water retailers throughout the L.A. basin draw that water up, filter it, treat it and then serve it to residents," Lee said.

Once the rain hits the ground, it starts to flow through a network of more than 3,000 miles of underground storm drains. The water eventually ends up in one of the Los Angeles County Flood Control District's network of 14 dams and 27 spreading grounds.

The department is currently trying to make even more. For the first time since 2002, officials are using cloud-seeding machines to push for even more water to fall from the sky.

"It takes these molecules, which are the seeds, and it creates heavier raindrops that should give us about 10 to 15 percent more rain out of a rainstorm that is already coming to us," said Steven Frasher with the public works department.

Frasher said that cloud seeding alone in an average year could result in an extra 1.5 billion gallons of water, which is enough to serve 36,000 residents for one year. He and others involved said they're excited about the water-harvesting potential.
Related Topics:
weatherrainstormcalifornia waterconservationwater conservationwinter stormLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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