LOS ANGELES (KABC) --A big effort is underway to make improvements to the Tujunga Spreading Grounds, so the water conservation facility can better save rainwater to help with California's five-year drought.
California has been thirsty for the past several years, and officials say there is no end in sight - this is likely our new normal.
This is why city officials are enhancing a new system to save the water we do have.
"By 2035, to have 50 percent of our water right here locally, instead of what it is today - only 15 percent of our water actually comes from Los Angeles for Los Angeles," L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
The Tujunga Spreading Grounds Enhancement Project, which officially kicked off on Monday, will help with the drought by capturing more rain and storing it.
"We are stopping that water from going straight to the Pacific Ocean by allowing it to refill that lake during wet years. We can tap that lake during dry years," said David Wright with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
The $29 million project will take two years to complete and will store enough water for nearly 50,000 households for an entire year.
"It allows storm water to stop and not be wasted and be utilized again as nature intended," Wright said.
The mayor said the new system will also decrease L.A.'s dependency on imported water.
"We've got plenty of water. We just have to save it, and this is what this is about," Garcetti said.
The new system will help our ground water tables, but the mayor says conservation is still key.
"The drought continues. We have to make sure we continue to get the taps changed in our households, wait to do our laundry with good, efficient systems," Garcetti said.
The project, located at Arleta Avenue and Roscoe Boulevard, is slated to be completed by 2018. There are also plans to launch similar enhancement projects at other spreading grounds across Los Angeles.