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LA Sustainable Water Project: Los Angeles River Watershed

  • Author(s): Mika, Katie
  • Gallo, Elizabeth
  • Read, Laura
  • Edgley, Ryan
  • Truong, Kim
  • Hogue, Terri
  • Pincetl, Stephanie
  • Gold, Mark
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY-NC' version 4.0 license
Abstract

The LA Sustainable Water Project: Los Angeles River Watershed report explores the potential to improve water quality standards while integrating complementary One Water Management practices that can increase potential local water supplies for the City of Los Angeles (the City) in the highly urbanized Los Angeles River (LAR) watershed.To assess the integrated water landscape in this watershed, the report also looks at current practices and future opportunities at the Donald C Tillman, LA Glendale, and Burbank Water Reclamation Plants (WRPs) and in the underlying Upper LA River Area (ULARA) adjudicated groundwater basins. Implementing watershed-scale best management practice programs to meet stormwater permit requirements will significantly improve water quality. However, additional mechanisms such as increasing Low Impact Development implementation and comprehensive source tracking and source control mechanisms will be required to potentially eliminate water quality exceedances. The 3 WRPs in the watershed currently discharge more than 30 million gallons per day of treated wastewater into the River; an increased focus on increasing local water supply could lead to a reduction in these discharges.

The combination of increased stormwater capture and increased use of recycled water in the LAR watershed could lead to lower flows in the LAR and impact habitat and recreational uses; further study is needed to characterize potential impacts and identify optimal flows for the future of the LAR. The City is leading efforts in ULARA to increase the recharge of recycled water into theground by 30,000 acre feet per year and increase the volumes of remediated groundwater extracted by around 120,000 acre feet per year. This research demonstrates the complex interrelationships between all aspects of urban water management, including stormwater management and local water supply.

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