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.
Project team members: Dr. Erik Porse, Madelyn Glickfeld, Keith Mertan, and Dr. Stephanie Pincetl
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
Publications and Reports
- Water Governance in Los Angles County
This two page fact sheet goes over the current study that the CCSC is conducting, as well as positing the research questions it seeks to answer and highlighting its findings. The CCSC aims to visualize water flows and governance structures across the region, in order to assess the implications of the current system of management. To read more about the L.A. County’s complex water system click here.
- LA County Water Data Infrastructure Fact Sheet and Policy Brief
- LA County Groundwater Management Fact Sheet and Policy Brief
- LA County Water Supply Management Fact Sheet and Policy Brief