By Erika Kidera
Following a fun Earth Week, this week the Water Action Research Team buckled down in hopes of tackling another one of our big projects, writing storm water policy. Due to our lack of experience in the field of policy writing, this project is one with some evident hurdles, but we are ready. Understanding the potential magnitude of such a policy has lead us to being a little hesitant with our work and our wording, as we hope to be as precise and accurate as possible. After several attempts of creating drafts of our policy based on the structure of many past policies, we hit a wall. Luckily, we have the wonderful support and help of our stakeholder, Tracy Dudman, and we have decided to start from the bottom up.
As the highlight of our week, we had the pleasure of meeting with the Water Task Force. In addition to our personal research, this meeting provided us with greater insight on how to approach the formulation of our policy. The meeting included many familiar faces, but also some new ones, such as a guest speaker from Heal the Bay, James. James shared his thoughts on storm water and the many factors to be considered in installing a storm water system. A big one of the meeting was LID (Low Impact Development). Considering the current state of drought and Los Angeles’ 20% water reduction by 2020 plan, LID policy in LA requires that 95% of the water generated in events of precipitation must stay on the site. We would like similar requirements to be applied on campus. Furthermore, we realized that due to watershed systems and individual building requirements, storm water can’t be considered as a whole, rather it must be introduced in a building-by-building strategy. Together our team compiled a lot of information regarding storm water, and now we are ready to put our observations into actions.
In the upcoming week, we hope to create a complete version of our storm water policy and then discuss it with our stakeholder. We are excited about the many potential positive affects of our policy. We are thrilled to have been able to start our policy from the core, as it gives us the ability to personalize it to accommodate what we believe UCLA needs. The Water Action Research Team is committed to a sustainable future and we hope, given our new guidelines, we will establish a strong policy to implement directly here at UCLA. Not only are we considering fulfilling the needs of the campus, but we hope to influence the actions of the UC community as well. We are ready to dive in and develop a strong storm water policy that will support and strengthen the sustainability movement at UCLA!