Tuesday March 12, 2024


Sun Valley has long been one of the most flood-prone parts of the city. In the ‘80s and ’90s when it rained, news crews would head there for the most dramatic shots. The largely working-class, Latino neighborhood in the northeast San Fernando Valley is also a pollution hotspot, with landfills, auto shops and heavy industry nestled amid homes.

At the same time, as the climate crisis leads to hotter droughts, more intense rainstorms and less reliable snow — traditionally our largest source of drinking water — L.A. desperately needs to become more like a sponge.

That will help to capture more stormwater locally when rain does come and lessen devastating flooding, said Edith de Guzman, a UCLA water equity and climate adaptation researcher.

“We’ve created a problem because we have paved a large majority of the area,” de Guzman said. “What used to be porous is not porous.”

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