Vice President Kamala Harris visited the San Fernando Valley Friday to highlight the Biden administration’s work to increase drought and flood resistance.
She stopped in Sun Valley, where she touched down at a facility owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power called the Tujunga Spreading Grounds. The facility captures runoff that would otherwise flow into the ocean, and it can provide water for up to 64,000 homes annually, according to the DWP.
“This plant and this facility is doing the smartest and most contemporary type of work necessary to store water,” Harris said.
Harris said the recently approved federal infrastructure funding bill includes more than $12 billion for Western water infrastructure projects.
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The vice president said the funding will “address these issues in a way that we can build up resilience and adaptation and do the kind of work that is happening right here, which is investing in smart ways to store water so that we will have that water in times of crisis, such as drought.”
This is not the first attempt to develop infrastructure to store stormwater. In 2018, voters passed Measure W, which was targeted toward improving the stormwater capture system in Los Angeles, but of the 5-10 billion gallons pouring into the Los Angeles Basin from recent storms, only about 20% will be captured by the county.
Harris said the nation needs to “diversify our approach” when it comes to water policy and examine “what we do in terms of conservation to recycling, desalination and storage of water.”
Harris was accompanied on her trip by Sen. Alex Padilla, Rep. Tony Cardenas, and LA County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath.
Her visit comes after she attended the groundbreaking of the 125-mile-long Ten West Link transmission line in Arizona on Thursday. The power line will provide electricity from wind and solar farms to the Phoenix area and Southern California.