Water Governance in L.A. County

The California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA (CCSC) is analyzing the complex system of water governance in Los Angeles County. Water is imported into Los Angeles County from the Colorado River, the Owens Valley, and the San Joaquin/Sacramento River Delta. It is also available through native groundwater, stormwater, and wastewater. Over 100 different public, private, and nonprofit entities are involved in the management and distribution of this water. As climate change and urbanization continue to affect arid and semi-arid regions like Los Angeles, it is critical to understand the current management of water resources and to evaluate the potential for increased sustainability.

Groundwater Managment in Metropolitan Los Angeles

Dr. Pincetl and Dr. Porse are co-authors of a 2015 research paper that analyzed the evolution of groundwater management in Los Angeles County. Funded by the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, the article examines how groundwater rights have changed in the decades since pumpers in basins throughout L.A. County devised management structures to promote long-term preservation of the aquifers. The article is especially timely as California embarks on regulating groundwater throughout the entire state.

See summary highlights on blog entries via the California Water Blog, the UCLA Water Resources site, and Water Deeply news site

Project team members: Dr. Erik Porse, Madelyn Glickfeld, Keith Mertan, and Dr. Stephanie Pincetl

Water Basins
Adjudicated groundwater basins of Southern Los Angeles County included in this study. Lighter colors indicate earlier finalized judgments. Chino Basin, which lies only partially within the county, was not included in the analysis. Source: Porse, Glickfeld, Mertan, & Pincetl (2015)

Systems Analysis for Managing Local Water Reliance in L.A.

As part of an NSF Water, Sustainability, and Climate grant, Dr. Porse and Dr. Pincetl are analyzing the potential for local water reliance in L.A. County. Using mathematical modeling, systems analysis, and empirical data from Urban Water Management Plans, the research is assembling the complex picture of water management and movement, from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California down through small retail agencies and non-profits.

Another part of the reserach is developing a water data library and visualization platform to better communicate water supplies, demands, and other critical water-related information for policy makers and local organizations in the metropolitan Los Angeles region.

Project Team members: Dr. Erik Porse, Dr. Stephanie Pincetl, Marcia Hale, Paul Cleland, Dr. Debbie Chang

Network View of LA Water Mgmt 31Aug15

Publications and Reports

Water Management in Los Angeles County A Research Report to the Haynes Foundation

Fact Sheets