Santa Monica Sustainable City Plan: Sustainability in Action
The City of Santa Monica is surrounded on three sides by the City of Los Angeles and on the fourth side by the Pacific Ocean. It has 90,000 residents in an area of 21 km², but the population can swell to 300,000 during the workday, and over 500,000 visitors come to the city in an average weekend. The climate is mild and temperate, with ocean breezes moderating extreme temperatures year round. Approximately 40 cm of rain falls on the city each year, with almost all of that occurring in the winter months. Effects of climate change and recent extended periods of drought pose a serious threat to the city as well as the region, as most of the potable water is imported from Northern California. The city’s location on the oceanfront is as significant for its impact on tourism as it is for its impact on environmental health. Urban runoff is a major cause of pollution in the bay, and during the dry season, 1,890 m³ of polluted runoff from the Los Angeles Basin enters the city. The city constructed a runoff treatment facility in 2000 to treat the dry season runoff and reuse it for landscape irrigation around town.