RBC Bank Empowers TreePeople to Address Los Angeles Drought Emergency through Rainwater Capture

Grant helps fund programs to increase stormwater capture as a local water supply source 

RALEIGH, N.C. (July 21, 2014)– RBC Bank, the leading provider of banking solutions for Canadians visiting or staying longer-term in the United States, announces that TreePeople, an RBC Royal Bank Blue Water Project Leadership Grant recipient, has made significant strides to increase the locally-sourced water supply in Los Angeles.

TreePeople was granted $100,000 from RBC Bank in 2013 to support a multi-faceted approach to affect policy change in the region and create programs for wide-scale community participation. Through this grant, TreePeople is advising the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power on the city’s first Stormwater Capture Master Plan (SCMP).

Preliminary results – which assume significant and unprecedented efforts to resolve issues such as remediation of polluted groundwater, increases in adjudicated pumping rights due to stormwater infiltration, and implementation of stormwater capture projects throughout the city – indicate that the city could potentially capture up to anadditional 105,000 acre-feet of stormwater by 2099. This figure represent a substantial increase in recharge into the groundwater basins that the City currently sources for local groundwater, roughly three and a half times the current 29,000 AFY actively captured at the City’s large centralized stormwater capture and spreading facilities. These numbers clearly make the case that improving the health of LA's aquifers through remediation of contamination and increased infiltration is of paramount importance.

California’s drought emergency has raised new awareness about the sensitivity of local water supply, making the organization’s efforts all the more essential.

TreePeople is also working on programs to help local residents change landscaping and outdoor water use, which consumes approximately one-half of LA’s water supplies. Last year, TreePeople supported the launch of a rain barrel rebate program for local residents, as well as launched a web-based tool for LA citizens at large to chart rainwater harvesting project data, including tree planting, on their properties.

“In the midst of a major drought, Los Angeles is on its way to building a local, reliable, and affordable clean water supply,” said Andy Lipkis, founder and president of TreePeople. “The RBC Royal Bank Blue Water Project Leadership Grant has enabled TreePeople to work with major agency partners, as well as everyday Angelenos, to secure LA’s water, and a more sustainable future.”


The RBC Blue Water Project is a historic, wide-ranging, 10-year global commitment to help protect the world's most precious natural resource: fresh water. Since 2007, RBC has pledged nearly $41 million to more than 700 charitable organizations worldwide that protect water, including the grants announced today, with an additional $8.8 million pledged to universities for water programs.

“TreePeople is using its expertise in rainwater capture to address a pressing issue that impacts the entire Los Angeles community,” said Kristen Doherty, vice president of sales, marketing and communications at RBC Bank. “We are proud to support their efforts and look forward to the continued success of the TreePeople’s programs.” 

About RBC Bank

RBC Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada that provides U.S. banking solutions to RBC consumer clients with a cross-border lifestyle.   RBC Bank pioneered cross border banking and has been serving clients who visit, shop, study or relocate in the U.S., for more than ten years. Today, the Bank provides everyday banking and real estate lending solutions to Canadian clients in all 50 states. 

About RBC Royal Bank

Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We are Canada’s largest bank as measured by assets and market capitalization, and are among the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking and transaction processing services on a global basis. We employ approximately 79,000 full- and part-time employees who serve close to 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients in Canada, the U.S. and 51 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.

About TreePeople

For the past four decades, TreePeople has been an environmental leader in Los Angeles. TreePeople unites the power of trees, people, and nature-based solutions to grow a greener city. The organization involves people of all ages in environmental education, forestry programs, demonstration projects, and policy outreach initiatives that make Greater Los Angeles a healthier and more sustainable city. To learn more, visit www.treepeople.org.