Blue/Green Jobs for a Climate Resilient Los Angeles

submission by TRP

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

The River Project

Organization(s) website(s):

Organization(s) twitter handle(s):

Organization(s) facebook handle(s):

Please share the direct link for voters to sign up for your newsletter(s):

Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


The River Project works to advance watershed health and climate resilience for the social, economic and environmental benefit of all Angelenos.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


The Water LA job training and certification program will build our city’s water-smart workforce. Local NGOs and green businesses will partner with LA Trade Tech to develop curricula and provide instructor training for low-cost courses in the design, installation, and maintenance of climate resilient residential urban acupuncture strategies. The courses will train a skilled workforce to support Angelenos in transforming their homes to capture, conserve, and reuse precious water resources.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

(e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County):

LA Trade Tech

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):

How will your proposal improve the following “Live” metrics? (check all that apply)

Access to healthy food

Healthcare access

Exposure to air toxins

Number of households below the self-sufficiency index

Percent of imported water

Obesity rates

Housing affordability

Rates of homelessness

Walk/bike/transit score

Acres and miles of polluted waterways

Rates of mental illness

Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (Dream Metric)

Percentage of LA communities that are resilient (Dream Metric)

Percentage of residents receiving coordinated healthcare services (Dream Metric)

Percentage of tree canopy cover (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the healthiest place to live.


The Water LA Training and Certification program will expand the city’s pool of workers capable of retrofitting and maintaining LA homes and yards to capture, conserve, and reuse water. It will help expand LA’s local water supply, improve water quality in local streams, increase tree canopy, enhance climate resilience, and strengthen our green economy.

Today, LA relies on imported water for nearly 90% of its supply. Meanwhile, rain that falls in the city runs off from roads to storm drains to the LA River to the ocean, wasting a potential supply and polluting our waterways in the process. This system of water management is not sustainable.

The Water LA program aims to improve this situation by spreading water harvesting practices to residential landscapes across the region. Replacing thirsty, rain-repelling turf with native plants, rain gardens and edible landscapes; installing rain tanks and greywater systems to provide alternative irrigation sources; building infiltration trenches and parkway basins to recharge our aquifers and capture runoff from the street – Water LA aims to expand adoption of all of these urban acupuncture solutions.

LA’s enthusiastic response to local turf rebate programs shows how eager residents are to make their homes more water-resilient and cut their potable water use. But many Angelenos encounter barriers to making these changes on their own, like a lack of technical skills to do the design and installation, or a shortage of time to do proper maintenance. These residents have struggled to find professionals trained in water-smart retrofitting or maintenance.

We aim to close this gap between LA’s desire for water and climate resilient home landscapes and their ability to design, implement, and maintain those retrofits by training local gardeners, contractors, and youth in techniques to capture, conserve, and reuse water on residential parcels. We will work with expert NGOs and green businesses to develop appropriate curriculum and to train instructors at LA Trade Tech (a member of the LA Community College District), enabling them to offer the curriculum in the fall of 2016.

This training will enable and empower residents to make changes on their properties and cultivate a new culture of water stewardship across the city. It will also bolster the city’s green economy - helping the design, construction and maintenance of residential green infrastructure grow into a recognized and legitimate trade in our region and beyond.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


We will measure our success by our ability to hit two key benchmarks by August 2016:

• Successful development of curricula for courses in the design, installation, and maintenance of key urban acupuncture strategies (site assessment, rain tanks, rain grading, native plants, greywater systems, parkway basins, infiltration trenches, permeable surfaces, and edible landscapes);
• Administration of a “train the trainers” course for LA Trade Tech instructors.

Completing curriculum development and teacher training will enable LA Trade Tech to offer these courses to students in the fall of 2016.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

27 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

This is great! It's not only what our generation needs, but what we all need! "Going Green" shouldn't just be an option anymore, it should be the norm.

by gracenol
6 months ago

It's great to see a solution that really fixes the correct problem! I would love to see better water capturing processes in my city and the beautiful gardens and lush shady areas that go along with them. So many people would love to put these in and are doing way less important things with their time, land, and careers. Let's empower them to make the city cooler and more sustainable!

by Sophrosune
5 months ago

I am from Laguna Niguel and both my parents and sisters have intended to install drought resistant landscaping in their homes, but have not yet begun with any projects because of how difficult it is to find a someone who KNOWS what they're doing. It is great to learn about a company like Water LA that knows all there is to know about the business, and to see them extending this information to the public. The pioneering work of Water LA should and MUST be the norm in the coming 5-10 years. Great proposal, thank you for your work Water LA & The River Project!

by evanandrewnelson
6 months ago

I fully support this proposal and I am confident this money will be put to the right use because of Water LA's consistent and innovative strategies to retrofit Los Angeles for a climate resilient future. I would love to learn how to make these changes in my home and I know friends, family and neighbors agree! Keep up the awesome work Water LA, thank you!

by mariamaria211
6 months ago

Great to see a proposal that will tackle so many issues at once....conserving water, creating green jobs, helping climate vulnerable communities...sounds like a much needed and overdue program! It's about time we realize we're living in a desert and addressing these issues from the ground up!

by PeterSimon
6 months ago

As a recent college graduate, I have many friends with an environmental degree and are struggling to find jobs. I know SO many young adults that would benefit from a program like this, not to mention the benefits it will have in conserving scarce water resources and preparing Los Angeles for the inevitable climate challenges we are going to face in the upcoming years. I think this proposal will make Los Angeles one of the best places to live because it supports green jobs, climate resilience, water conservation...I just cannot say enough good things about Water LA and the River Project! Thank you for your work!

by gracepaluch555
6 months ago

As a Los Angeles homeowner who recently installed drought resistant landscaping, I cannot tell you how difficult it is to find trained craftspeople who understand this work. I only found two or three people in town who could even hold an intelligent conversation about rain harvesting and they were such high demand I couldn't get any meaningful work done with them. This is an exciting, vitally important, and fast growing field. To offer this training is simply brilliant.

by marjoriejune
6 months ago

Water LA has demonstrated its success again and again. Working not only to build our water resources, but to educate communities on the water ecology all around them. They're amazing at what they do and I hope they continue to do it!

by WalkFly
6 months ago

This sounds like a great proposal! Los Angeles really needs more green jobs available for recent and upcoming college graduates!

by alcaldwe
6 months ago

I have my rain barrels for the winter and are used in the summer to collect condensation from my air conditioner. Plenty of water for my drought tolerant garden. I would love to install a swale on my parkway.
City won't allow or permits are expensive. This needs to change.

by watersaver
6 months ago

As a soon-to-be graduate from the University of Southern California, I know SO many peers that would benefit from enrolling in this kind of a program. There are so many young, educated, and environmentally-conscious people seeking these kinds of green jobs. Also, a program like this would not only help employ these smart do-gooders, but is also extremely necessary for preparing for climate resiliency! Droughts and floods will become increasingly more frequent and severe, so we must help create a workforce that is prepared to address these issues - especially as we live in one of the most populated regions of the country!

by ahpugash
6 months ago

Much needed.

by CharlesMiller
6 months ago

The elephant in the room is California's overpopulation problem, which is mostly caused by excessive immigration.

Today California's two clueless Senators, Feinstein & Boxer, voted against "Kate's Law" (S.21.46) which would have ended sanctuary city policies and thus help deport many criminal illegal-aliens in our midst:

California produces more agricultural product than any other state, so cutting water to our farmers is short-sighted since our ever increasing population will need more food, as well as more water.

I fully support these common sense water projects designed to capture rain water (I personally use rain barrels and the such), but our overpopulation problem will eventually overwhelm these fixes, too.

by kdine
6 months ago

this is great! exactly what our generation needs

by sashasommer
6 months ago

Right on, gracenol! Thanks for your support!

by TRP
5 months ago

Yes, Sophrosune! Let's empowerAngelenos to take climate action!

by TRP
5 months ago

evanandrewnelson, you're making us blush! Grateful for your support - and let's hear it for the new normal!

by TRP
6 months ago

Thanks, mariamaria211! Keep your eyes peeled for the Water LA How-To guides that should be publicly available by the end of this year!

by TRP
6 months ago

Thank you PeterSimon! Grassroots from the ground up!

by TRP
6 months ago

Appreciate the support gracepaluch555! Your generation inspires us with your enthusiasm to be actively engaged in climate solutions!

by TRP
6 months ago

Thank you, marjoriejune! We aim to close the gap between demand and supply. Existing landscape workers need access to affordable re-training, and our youth need sustainable green jobs with a future!

by TRP
6 months ago

We thank you on behalf of all the fantastic Water LA partner organizations! Shout outs to Theodore Payne Foundation, Heal the Bay, LA Waterkeeper, Greywater Action, North East Trees, LA Trade Tech, La Loma Dev, Syntric, Watershed Management Group, ARCSA and so many others. Collaboration is key!

by TRP
6 months ago

Yes! And this program can serve High School graduates looking to learn a skilled trade, too! Our partnership with LATTC would be the first step in getting the program in to all Community Colleges, making green infrastructure design and maintenance a legitimate trade.

by TRP
6 months ago

I agree. We really need these efforts to conserve around our homes coordinated! I am sure so many people want to make these changes but don't know how, who to call, or where to go to start getting the job done. Great proposal!

by alcaldwe
6 months ago

I agree!

by alcaldwe
6 months ago

Thank you, alcaldwe! This program would accelerate our ability to meet that growing demand!

by TRP
6 months ago

Stay tuned, watersaver! We're working with the City to finalize the parkway swales standards and create a user-friendly, no-fee permit process. This grant would help us train more people to design and install them safely and effectively. And great job on capturing your AC condensate!!

by TRP
6 months ago

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Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

Circle 3 83da7a9432aeea960e1a9e9ee93e7ea1221af6c8f42b27964f2e9999d94b2b8d Step3 title 3d9e2a65d6ea1ad301f8fc607f5f828bd96362932c71d81c0da5b1fd964422b0

Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015