100% local water for L.A. County

November 13, 2015
The Ballona Creek Watershed.
Katie Mika

The Sustainable LA Grand Challenge has the goal of 100% local water supply in Los Angeles County.  To put this in perspective, the city of LA has imported about 89% of its water from more than 200 miles away during this record drought.  We need to start thinking differently in order to improve water quality, increase reliability, and achieve sustainability of our water supply by augmenting the percentage of our supply that is locally sourced. Think cleaning up contaminated groundwater, expanding the reuse of recycled water, capturing more rain where it falls for local use or groundwater storage, and finding long-term solutions to decrease demand through conservation.

Here at UCLA, we’ve been working on this approach, which goes by many names [integrated water management (IWM), sustainable water management, OneWater, etc), in a joint effort with the LA City Bureau of Sanitation and the Colorado School of Mines. We are characterizing some of the most promising opportunities to start putting projects in place to move IWM efforts in Los Angeles forward as well identifying some of the most pressing challenges to doing so.

This research effort is divided into multiple parts. First, we focus on moving IWM forward in the Ballona Creek, Dominguez Channel, and Los Angeles River watersheds and then we will take a deeper look at economic, regulatory, and policy-oriented opportunities and challenges to implementing IWM.  In the following reports, we explore IWM in each watershed.

Read the reports

Ballona Creek Watershed Report (November 13, 2015)

Dominguez Channel and Machado Lake Watersheds Report (August 2, 2017)

Los Angeles River Watershed Report (September 19, 2017)

Los Angeles City-Wide Overview (March 1, 2018)