[permaculture] Sun Valley Watershed Stakeholders Group Los Angeles CA

Wesley Roe and Marjorie Lakin Erickson lakinroe at silcom.com
Mon Oct 31 11:02:43 EST 2005

  hi everyone
         take a look at the amazing watershed projects happening in LA, the 
lead folks over the years have been TreePeople  www.treepeople.org/ , they 
are designing a watershed design that deals with water at the household 
level to larger projects that do away with the need to develop large 
concrete drainage age systems that destroy natural waterways.
         It is amazing what they are doing ,Andy Lipkis founder of 
TreePeople spoke of this project at Bioneers planetary sessions, to get a 
copy of his speech go to there website www.bioneers.org

Sun Valley Watershed Stakeholders Group Los Angeles


The mission of the Sun Valley Watershed Stakeholders Group is to solve the 
local flooding problem while retaining all stormwater runoff from the 
watershed, increasing water conservation, recreational opportunities, and 
wildlife habitat, and reducing stormwater pollution.

There's something exciting going on in Sun Valley! A serious effort to 
solve the area's chronic flooding problem is underway, but that's not the 
half of it. Planners envision a solution that will bring many other 
benefits to the community as well. The implementation here of what's known 
as a "watershed approach" to urban environmental problems could focus 
regional and national attention on Sun Valley. On this website, we'll 
provide both an introduction to the Sun Valley Watershed Project and a 
clearinghouse for project information. We hope you'll find the site 
informative and useful - maybe even inspiring!

Sun Valley is a district of the northeast San Fernando Valley, known to 
many Angelenos as the site of gravel pits and innumerable media stories 
about seriously flooded intersections. As they do in much of the urban 
area, hard surfaces dominate the Sun Valley landscape and prevent the 
ground from absorbing stormwater runoff. But Sun Valley lacks the 
infrastructure that, in much of the city, quickly carries runoff to the 
ocean. The result is a chronic flooding problem that often inconveniences 
and sometimes endangers the area's 80,000 residents.

Stormwater runoff in urban areas is the focus of a lot of regulatory 
attention these days because all those hard surfaces aggravate downstream 
flooding and contribute pollutants to our streams and the ocean. For these 
reasons, among others, traditional storm drains are no longer considered 
the best way of managing stormwater, and local government agencies are 
working to find effective alternatives.

Those agencies, along with area residents, businesses and environmental 
groups, have come together to develop a flood control plan for Sun Valley 
that will also address water quality issues, while providing a number of 
additional benefits to the community - benefits such as water conservation 
and more space for recreation and wildlife habitat. Monthly meetings of the 
Sun Valley Watershed Stakeholders Group are facilitated by the County of 
Los Angeles Department of Public Works, which is taking the lead on this 
innovative project.

The Department has hired a consultant team that includes the engineering 
firm Montgomery Watson Harza and the environmental nonprofit group 
TreePeople. The team is working on a watershed management plan to meet the 
goals outlined in the Group's mission statement, printed above. The team is 
also charged with outreach and public education tasks - understanding local 
concerns, informing residents of the underlying issues and promoting the 
benefits of a multipurpose plan.

The selection and design of several pilot projects in the watershed, the 
development of this website, and the publication of the Watershed Events 
newsletter are among the team's early efforts. All of our efforts are aimed 
at developing multipurpose projects to control the flooding in Sun Valley, 
while improving the community in other ways as well. We need your support, 
and we'd appreciate hearing your ideas and concerns. Find out about 
opportunities to learn and to help under Resources and Get Involved.

Click for a map of the Sun Valley watershed. on website

Stakeholder Process

The stakeholder process is underway in a number of Los Angeles-area 
watersheds. Its purpose is to get all the interested (and responsible) 
parties working together on decisions that affect the health of our 
watersheds and the quality of our lives. This linked list of Sun Valley 
stakeholders is maintained by the County of Los Angeles Department of 
Public Works.

The Sun Valley Watershed Stakeholders Group was formed late in 1998 to 
develop holistic solutions to the chronic flooding in the area, solutions 
that will bring other benefits to the community as well. We meet once a 
month, at locations within the watershed, to explore ideas and proposals, 
implement short-term solutions to flood-related problems and plan public 
education and outreach activities. As you can read in our mission statement 
below, we're looking for solutions that will also conserve water, reduce 
pollution, beautify the community and increase park space.

If you're looking at this page, you're almost certainly a stakeholder. If 
you'd like to formalize that status by attending stakeholder meetings, 
please take a look at the Ground Rules; details of upcoming meetings are at 

Watershed Event  quarterly publication

Watershed Events is a quarterly publication, in English and Spanish, of the 
Sun Valley Watershed Stakeholders Group. Its main purpose is to facilitate 
communication between the Group and the community. Sun Valley residents, 
and others interested in the progress of watershed management in the area, 
will find the most recent information in its pages. The newsletter is 
available at public sites throughout Sun Valley. If you can't find a copy, 
or need extras, contact David O'Donnell at (818) 623-4884 or 
dodonnell at treepeople.org.

The mission of the Sun Valley Watershed Stakeholders Group is to solve the 
local flooding problem while retaining all stormwater runoff from the 
watershed, increasing water conservation, recreational opportunities, and 
wildlife habitat, and reducing stormwater pollution.


The mission of the Sun Valley Watershed Stakeholders Group is to reduce 
local flooding while retaining all stormwater runoff from the watershed. To 
this end, a comprehensive watershed-wide plan is being developed to deal 
with the flooding while also providing a number of other benefits to the 
community. Early projects at a few Phase 1 sites will serve as models for 
subsequent work throughout the watershed. The implementation of some or all 
of the projects listed here would result in a noticeable reduction in area 
flooding over the next few years.

The stakeholders' Site Selection Subcommittee reviewed many potential 
project sites in the Sun Valley area. In order to be considered for a 
potential project, a site had to meet at least a couple of the Group's 
objectives: reduce local flooding, increase water conservation, protect and 
improve water quality, enhance recreational opportunities and wildlife 
habitat. We are now discussing appropriate stormwater best management 
practices for each of the sites and negotiating with site owners and 
potential project partners. Each site presents its own challenges and no 
site is guaranteed a project, but they all have great potential to reduce 
local flooding and provide those additional benefits.

Completed Demonstration Sites

We have included a few examples of existing projects in the Los Angeles 
area. These projects clearly demonstrate the benefits of retrofitting a 
site to capture stormwater. From mulching to cisterns, each project 
incorporates techniques that, used community-wide, can reduce stormwater 
runoff, collect much-needed water for future use, add recreational space 
and green the community.

Pan Pacific Park        Broadous Elementary School      Hall House

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