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Water Conservation For Your Whole Home
Water Conservation For Your Whole Home Image

There are many interesting sustainable trends happening in the horticulture world at the moment and we at LA Stormwater are particularly excited to see an increasing number of DIY Angeleno gardeners adding green infrastructure elements to their own beautiful gardens and carrying these trends into the home! 


But first, what exactly is green infrastructure and why is it so beneficial? Green infrastructure is the fancy name for landscaping elements, which are designed to mimic natural landscapes and harvest rainwater. These landscaping design choices are vitally important as they help capture and reduce excess stormwater runoff. They also help to filter out pollutants that would otherwise enter and impact our local rivers, creeks, lakes, and beaches.


Here are three of our favorite green infrastructure ideas, that any DIY-loving gardener can easily implement:

1) Rain Gardens: A rain garden is a great choice to capture rainwater on your property while also beautifying your yard. It is a depressional area in a landscape typically filled with deep-rooted native plants. Rain gardens help improve water quality by collecting and then slowly filtering rainwater into the ground. Learn more about how to build your own beautiful rain garden and even earn a rebate for your efforts.

2) Bioswales: Bioswales are a series of vegetated, mulched, or xeriscaped drainage channels that have gently sloped sides which are meant to carry and collect stormwater runoff. They improve water quality by filtering the runoff into the ground and removing debris and pollution. As linear features, they are particularly well suited to being placed along streets and parking lots. Once created, bioswales save both time and money in managing your yard. Bioswales provide a good source of storage water, thereby reducing the need for additional water in the garden (and your water bill!)


3) Permeable Paving: Permeable paving is a sustainable option for homeowners looking to prevent driveway erosion caused by rainwater pooling. It is a specific type of pavement, with high porosity, that allows rainwater to pass through it into the ground below. Permeable pavement is typically composed of concrete, asphalt, limestone, gravel, or open pore pavers and can be placed by homeowners in their sidewalks and driveways. Looking for more permeable pavement options? Here is a great list!

permeable pavement


In addition to adding green infrastructure to your home, there are a number of things that you can do inside the home to make your residence truly sustainable. The following are just some of the options available to you, but the creativity never ends and there is always more that you can do in your own home!


  • Turn off faucets when you aren’t actively using them. Those extra 30 seconds of water usage can add up throughout the year and become a major source of water waste.
  • Reuse water from old sources for your indoor plants. Have some extra water in your water bottle from last week? Toss it on your plants and they’ll be happy to soak up your old water.
  • Only run your dishwasher when it is full. Some dishwashers are actually made to work more efficiently when they are full and this saves you from doing multiple loads, therefore using more water.
  • Shorten your showers. Although it may feel great to sit in the shower for hours on end, you’re not helping save water when you push it to the point of pruning. Limit your time in the shower and save more time for the rest of your day, while saving water too.



Do you have any photos of your beautiful DIY green infrastructure projects or creative indoor water-saving methods that you would like to share? We’d love to see photos of your water conservation ideas. Send them to lastormwater@lacity.org.

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