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Drought-Busting Solution Arrives In Los Angeles, But At A Cost

LOS ANGELES ( — A new high-tech water-conservation system has arrived in Los Angeles that could change the way all drainage systems are used in the future.

The system collects the water that falls on the roof of a house, then channels the water through pipes into a 1,300-gallon cistern.

The new system knows when rain is coming, how much rain will fall, how much water is in the tank, and when the water needs to be released into the stream in the front yard.

The stream will fill up a small pond, which then lets rain water seep into the ground and into the underground aquifiers that can be tapped to provide drinking water.

Carrie Wassenaar's home is the first of what could be tens of thousands to come that is outfitted with the new technology.

"I like feeling like I'm contributing," Wassenaar said.

The one catch with the new water-saving system is the price.

The $25,000 price tag is much more than most homeowners are willing to pay, but the hope is that in the months to come, the price could lower drastically, creating more homeowners willing to install the new technology.

Treepeople founder Andy Lipkis says city and county leaders are trying to put together a pool of money based on the savings this recycled rainwater will provide, turning this $25,000 investment into a cost of more like a few thousand dollars for homeowners who are willing to buy it.

"We're not saying people should do this today, we're saying 'hey, we have a good solution,' " Lipkis said.

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