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Transforming Our Water Runoff Problem
into a Sustainable Source of Clean, Usable Water


About the Polluted Runoff PROBLEM:
ater pollution from contaminated runoff plagues bays, ocean waters, beaches, lakes, rivers and streams throughout California – and many are in violation of state and federal water quality laws. Pollutants flow daily directly to these waters – without treatment of any kind – endangering human health, marine and aquatic life and ocean waters worldwide. The dangerous impacts of this polluted water on human health, animals and aquatic life have been well documented.

In Los Angeles County, nearly 100 pollutants impact over 500 miles of rivers and streams, San Pedro and Santa Monica Bays, and the county’s world-renowned beaches.

All of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary – which drains 40% of California and is one of the most ecologically productive water bodies in the world –suffers from severe pollution due to daily urban runoff, mining, industry, agriculture and sewage.

Water quality in the entire Bay Delta – over 1,000 square miles – is in violation of the U.S. Clean Water Act, threatening water supplies for nearly all of California.

Why has Polluted Runoff Become such a Serious Problem?
More than a century of growth and development has drastically changed the natural function of rivers and watersheds, and paved thousands of square miles with concrete and asphalt. These non-porous surfaces can’t absorb or filter water the way soil and natural lands do. And to make matters worse, our yards, landscaping, businesses, industry, streets and parking lots create “runoff” – pollutant-laden water that flows daily, even in dry weather, directly into drainage systems and to our rivers, beaches, bays and ocean. When it rains, the problem only gets worse.

Can Green Approaches Help Solve the Problem?
Many water quality experts believe that much of the toxins, bacteria and other contaminants carried by daily urban and stormwater runoff could be permanently addressed by directing these polluted waters to a network of new and welldesigned “green” areas: new and restored natural habitat, parks and recreation lands that would allow soil and plants to naturally filter and uptake water and pollutants as well as providing a wide range of open space and other benefits.

BUT, the conventional assumption has been that there is not enough land in developed areas to effectively use “green” approaches to naturally clean up polluted runoff.


CCS' Exciting Green Solution Findings
The Green Solution Project is a major paradigm shift, changing conventional assumptions about the lack of available land for green approaches to the urgent water quality problems caused by polluted runoff. The Green Solution Project pioneers a creative and practical approach by focusing on existing public lands and on unpaving impervious areas and retrofitting porous areas on these lands, so that they can naturally clean polluted runoff while also providing important park, habitat and other green open space.

Download a copy of the full Green Solution Report.

In Los Angeles County, the CCS team found that up to 20,000 acres of existing public lands are suitable for conversion and retrofit from paved, non-porous surfaces to innovative, multiple-benefit Green Solution projects in all watersheds of the county. Transforming these lands to a network of new, green open space lands that can naturally capture, filter and clean polluted runoff could handle nearly 50% of the county’s polluted runoff problem that can be dealt with by Green Solutions – while also creating badly-needed park, habitat and other green open space amenities.

The Green Solution’s Potential In Every Community
The Green Solution can be implemented in any area suffering from polluted runoff problems. This pragmatic approach is essential to effectively address water pollution in watersheds throughout the nation, and particularly where the natural functions of watersheds, rivers and soil itself have been dramatically altered.

Many water quality experts believe that much of the toxins, bacteria and other contaminants carried by daily urban and stormwater runoff could be permanently addressed by directing these polluted waters to a network of new and well-designed “green” areas. Until CCS’s Green Solution Project approach - focused on existing public lands - it was widely believed that there just weren’t enough lands to make this multiple-benefit approach a feasible solution to polluted runoff problems.

The CCS Green Solution Team
The Community Conservation Solutions team includes state-of-the-art hydrology engineering and GIS digital mapping technology, provided by Psomas and GreenInfo Network. This expert team’s unique methodology quantifies the amount of land necessary for conversion or retrofit to Green Solution projects to meet water quality improvement goals, determines the opportunity public lands suitable for Green Solution projects, and integrates hydrology, water quality improvement, conservation and community needs to determine strategic Green Solution Project locations.

GreenInfo NetworkPsomas


CCS thanks the following for their support of the
Green Solution Project:

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Green Solution installation

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Download CCS' Green Solution Project Report

Where should Green Solution Projects occur?

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2554 Lincoln Blvd., Suite 223, Los Angeles, CA 90291, USA

© Community Conservation Solutions