One of the problems that confront Southern California today is the persistent flooding of the San Fernando Valley and the accompanying growth of water-stressed mosquitoes and other insects. Every year, when the winter rains hit the region, the flood waters make their presence known, leaving a wake of destruction in their path. Every year, people in the area scramble to contain the rising water and prevent it from reaching their homes. Many buildings have been damaged by the floods, as well as the roads and footpaths that connect them. The cost of fixing this damage and preventing further flooding is considerable. But the worst may be yet to come. While the waters of the San Fernando Valley were a source of constant frustration for Valley residents, there were some developments that could have been done to prevent this recurring problem.
One of the contributing factors to the flooding in the San Fernando Valley is the absence of tree cover. Wherever there is open space, whether it be a field or a vacant lot, there is the potential for a pool of stagnant water to form. When the water builds up to a certain level, it will start to flood, causing all the aforementioned problems. To prevent this, the City of Los Angeles implemented a program that places grassy mounds over the drainage areas where they deem it necessary. These mounds not only prevent flooding, but they also serve as a ready source of food for wildlife.
Retaining Walls And Valley Greenery
Another critical factor in curbing floods is retaining walls. A wall that spans the entire length of a property can serve as a partial dam to retain water within an allocated amount of space. In some cases, a wall can be designed to retain water within itself, acting as a catchment for rainwater and offering some level of protection to the building that it surrounds. In other cases, a dam of some sort may be necessary to create a confined area where water can be retained and prevented from flowing away. Retaining walls are often associated with valley greenery. Trees and shrubs planted in the vicinity of a wall can act as a natural shield, reducing energy loss from both the sun and the wind. They also provide wildlife with food and shelter. Retaining walls are considered to be one of the most effective ways to control floods.
Raising The Height Of The Curbs
Another critical factor to the recurring flooding problem in the San Fernando Valley is the height of the curbs. Curbs are the raised areas along the road, often at the sides and in the center, where vehicles must stop before entering a lane. This is enforced by traffic cameras and police cars. Raising the height of the curbs can help in a number of ways. First, it prevents vehicles from hydroplaning on the flooded roads. Second, it prevents some of the vehicles from driving into the oncoming lanes and causing accidents. Third, it forces drivers to slow down, thus preventing accidents. Finally, it keeps the water contained within the traveled lanes, protecting the roadways and the buildings thereon from the effects of floods.
Reducing Reliance On Conventional Water Sources
One of the most important things that government can do to help prevent floods is to reduce the amount of water that people consume. The vast majority of the country’s wetlands have been drained over the years, turning dry land into a source of water for people and wildlife alike. But rather than being water-efficient, the trend today is towards people becoming more reliant on water sources that are considered dirty or contaminated. For instance, people are turning to water tanks, collecting rainwater for use in their homes. These tanks are more convenient to use than drinking water from the tap and they reduce the need to use water-guzzling lawn sprinklers. In regions where drought is a significant issue, it may be necessary to reduce water use completely. Drought-tolerant landscaping and efficient sprinkler systems can make a lot of water savings possible. The San Fernando Valley is currently in the middle of a severe water shortage. One way to address this problem is to encourage people to install water tanks, rainwater collection systems and other water-saving devices.
Build Up A Drought Resilient Valley
While government entities such as the City of Los Angeles can do a lot to prevent floods in the San Fernando Valley, the region as a whole needs to engage in conscious efforts to become more drought-resistant. Building up a drought-resilient valley means using environmental design to create conditions that will allow the region to withstand severe droughts. This can be done through strategic water management and efficient irrigation techniques. For example, by designing landscapes and planting native plants that are drought-tolerant, it is possible to reduce the amount of water needed by up to 90%. In addition to this, the region can also work to reduce the amount of water lost through leaks and overflows. The most effective way of ensuring that this does not happen is by fixing any plumbing problems as soon as they arise. Any building or structure that is over 10 years old should have its water system checked, as there is the potential for serious leaks to develop, due to age and the constant use of water. Throwing out old appliances and replacing them with energy-efficient models can also help to reduce your annual water bills. Additionally, the City of Los Angeles needs to promote water conservation. During periods of drought, it is extremely important to encourage residents to take shorter showers, use less water and other measures to save water. The best way to do this is through education and raising public awareness of the water issues that the region faces.
A lot can be done to prevent the flooding of the San Fernando Valley and the accompanying rise of mosquitoes and other insects. The City of Los Angeles has implemented a number of measures to combat this problem, including raising the height of the curbs, improving the water infrastructure and encouraging more efficient irrigation practices. But ultimately, these measures will not be enough. It will take a significant cultural shift and an increased awareness of the issues that the region faces to change the way that people use water and manage the supply. This will help to ensure that the Valley continues to attract new residents and businesses, while at the same time helping to ensure that its existing communities remain healthy and vibrant.