Los Angeles Sustainable Water Project: Dominguez Channel and Machado Lake Watersheds

August 3, 2017
Dominguez Channel in Los Angeles County
Katie Mika

UCLA researchers have looked at how to improve water-quality and increase water-supply with a focus on the City of Los Angeles – a necessary step towards realizing 100% locally-sourced water for L.A. County by 2050, which is a goal of the UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge.  In the recently released report, LA Sustainable Water Project: Dominguez Channel and Machado Lake Watersheds, researchers specifically studied the highly urbanized Dominguez Channel watershed, which includes the Machado Lake watershed and looked at the Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant, as well as the underlying groundwater basins, to better understand opportunities to improve water quality and increase water supply.

The report lays out the complex relationships between multiple aspects of urban water management, including stormwater management and local water-supply. The Dominguez Channel and Machado Lake watersheds have been significantly impacted by pollutants such as metals, bacteria, and nutrients, and multiple efforts are occurring in the region to improve water quality through, in part, increasing the volumes of stormwater captured.  This additional stormwater, in combination with full reuse of the wastewater in our region, offers great potential to simultaneously clean-up our local waterbodies and increase our local potential water-supply.

In the report, researchers provide an in-depth look at how watershed-scale best-management-practices projects will improve water quality in the Dominguez and Machado watersheds and highlights the region’s current and planned projects on water-quality, water-supply.

This study is part of a series of Sustainable LA Grand Challenge Integrated Water Management reports, including the Ballona Creek Watershed and the Los Angeles River Watershed. These reports along with the Los Angeles City-Wide Overview report help provide a path forward for the region to reach the UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge’s ambitious goal of 100% local water in L.A. County by 2050.

The research team included UCLA associate vice chancellor for environment and sustainability Mark Gold, UCLA postdoctoral scholar Katie Mika, and professor Terri Hogue of the Colorado School of Mines (CSM); UCLA professor Stephanie Pincetl, as well as, Elizabeth Gallo of CSM.