LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — There may be a silver lining for homeowners dreading the arrival of a stronger-than-usual rainy season thanks to El Niño.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and other local water agencies are touting programs to pay or give discounts to homeowners who save rain runoff and beef up supplies in and outside of Los Angeles.

After a $200 to $300 startup investment, homeowners can find themselves earning a $100 rebate for every 55-gallon barrel of rainwater, according to Mark Pistrella with LA County Public Works. That same barrel can also irrigate a lawn or garden for up to two weeks.

“It’s a very simple system. Two to $300 will put you in a place where you could capture water,” Pistrella said. “I know this because I’ve done this on my own property.

But agencies aren’t just looking at customers to help them save rainwater – their own yards and municipal facilities are being scrutinized for rainwater-saving potential as well.

“We are trying to be creative, look for any open land, big box parking lots, other places where we have large paved surfaces, even our water district yards, trying to find a way to keep that runoff from getting into the street,” LADWP’s Marty Adams said.

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