Heavy rains this winter and spring sent torrential flows down local creeks and rivers, and L.A. County managed to capture and store a significant amount of that stormwater. To be exact, they snared an estimated 295,000 acre-feet of water since last October, or 96.3 billion gallons. That’s enough water to supply about 2.4 million people a year — nearly one-fourth of the county’s population. “This year has really been a super year,” said Mark Pestrella, director of L.A. County Public Works. The county, working with the L.A. Department of Water and Power and other agencies, was able to capture and store this amount of water thanks in part to investments totaling more than $1 billion since 2001, Pestrella said. Some of the money has gone toward raising dams and increasing the capacity of spreading grounds, where water is sent into basins and then percolates underground into aquifers.

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