A Clear Blue Future: How Greening California Cities Can Address Water Resources and Climate Challenges in the 21st Century

Issue Paper
August 10, 2009

As global warming threatens our water resources, communities are faced with a need to respond quickly and economically to water supply shortfalls. Both the snowpack and surface runoff that form a critical supply of potable water for western states are being affected by higher temperatures. Low impact development, or LID, is a land planning and engineering design approach to stormwater management that enables cities, states, and individuals to increase access to safe and reliable sources of water while reducing the amount of energy consumed and global warming pollution generated by supplying the water. New NRDC and UCSB analysis shows that implementing LID practices at new and redeveloped residential and commercial properties in parts of California can increase water supplies by billions of gallons each year, providing an effective and much-needed way to mitigate global warming’s impact on California.