Green Solutions Project

The Quantitative Link:
How Capturing Stormwater Reduces Greenhouse Gases

Community Conservation Solutions’ (CCS) metrics-driven Green Solutions tool shows how nature-based stormwater projects create new water supplies, reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs), restore natural habitat and help improve under-served communities by creating new open space.

Search over 400 prioritized stormwater projects in the Upper L.A. River Watershed


Implementing these stormwater projects would:

  • Create 450 acres of new natural habitat in under-served communities
  • Create new local water supplies for 52,000 homes/ year 
  • Replace 9% of energy-intensive imported water
  • REDUCE GREENHOUSE GASES – equal to over 1 billion vehicle miles
    (475,775 tons of carbon over 20 years)
  • Prioritize projects in disadvantaged communities

Try it now!

Download Green Solutions Report for Upper L.A. River Watershed, Phase IV

• Executive Summary
• Technical Report
• Maps
• Concept Designs for Priority Sites
• Full Report
• Appendices

California’s Fragmented Water Problem & Climate Change

We move enormous volumes of water from the mountains to our cities – while capturing all our stormwater (and dry weather runoff) and moving it as quickly as possible to the ocean. Moving water over long distances is energy-intensive and creates greenhouse gases that cause climate change.

Our Solution  


Use nature-based approaches to transform stormwater and dry weather runoff into new water supplies. “Smart” natural habitat and parks integrates state-of-the-art engineering to divert, treat and store runoff from existing stormdrains. Soils and plants naturally convert runoff into clean water for re-use for irrigation and groundwater recharge.

This helps avoid harmful greenhouse gases created by importing water over long distances, stores carbon – and creates new, green open space to improve the quality of life in communities with the greatest needs.

How Does Capturing Stormwater Also Help Tackle Climate Change?

  • Replaces energy-intensive imported water that creates greenhouse gases and uses the captured runoff for irrigation and recharging groundwater
  • Maximizes carbon storage – a key component of greenhouse gases – by planting native habitat, which combines trees, shrubs and other plants, creating a permanent ecosystem that is adapted to Southern California’s unique climate

Using Habitat Tiles to Capture Carbon

CCS created a scalable, 5,000 square foot ‘Habitat Tile’, which contains up to 250 native plants that can store up to 100 tons CO2e over 20 years, equal to 237,000 vehicle miles. One acre of restored habitat stores carbon equal to over 2 billion vehicle miles.



Additional Potential New Local Water Supplies

If all the wet and dry weather runoff available to the project sites was captured and re-used, it could provide enough water for over 191,000 homes in an average year (114,000 acre-feet).  In a wet year, there is enough runoff to provide for over 511,000 homes (up to 305,000 acre-feet). Implementing additional projects on adjacent sites could take advantage of this water source in nearby stormdrains.




Project Team

Integrating Ecosystem and Climate Change Science, Engineering, Technology, Planning, Geospatial Analysis and Mapping