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UCLA Grand Challenges connects faculty, students and partners from all disciplines to work together, adopting a comprehensive approach to solve critical societal problems. The Sustainable LA Grand Challenge is transforming Los Angeles County through partnerships with government, business, academic institutions and community leaders, and cutting edge research to develop the technologies, policies, and strategies to reach its goals of 100% renewable energy, 100% locally-sourced water, and enhanced ecosystem and human health by 2050.

Sustainable LA Grand Challenge

There are 16 publications in this collection, published between 2015 and 2018.
2017 Sustainable LA Grand Challenge Research Symposium (1)

2017 Sustainable LA Grand Challenge Research Symposium Program

On May 17, 2017, Sustainable LA Grand Challenge (SLA GC) hosted their first symposium showcasing cutting-edge research toward the goal of 100% renewable energy, 100% locally sourced water, and enhanced ecosystem and human health in Los Angeles County by 2050.

Recent Work (15)

Los Angeles Sustainable Water Project: Ballona Creek Watershed (Executive Summary)

Implementing integrated water management systems (IWM) that incorporate all components of the urban water cycle, including imported water, local groundwater, captured stormwater, greywater, and treated wastewater is crucial to creating a sustainable water supply for the city of Los Angeles (City). Rapid and effective implementation of IWM is made even more necessary given the current drought conditions in California; this report explores opportunities and challenges to implementing IWM along the way to meeting water quality standards and maximizing use of potential local supplies such as captured stormwater and recycled wastewater in the Ballona Creek Watershed.

2017 Sustainable LA Environmental Report Card for Los Angeles County: Energy & Air Quality (Infographics)

The 2017 Sustainable LA Environmental Report Card (ERC) for Los Angeles County (LA County) on Energy and Air Quality offers an in-depth look at the region’s sustainability efforts focusing on the energy we use, greenhouse gas emissions, and the air we breathe. The LA County Environmental Report Card is the only comprehensive environmental report card for a megacity in the world. This ERC assesses 21 indicators that fall into five categories: Stationary Energy Use; Transportation; Renewable Energy Resources; Greenhouse Gas Emissions; and Air Quality and Human Health Impacts. A majority of these indicators are entirely new areas of inquiry for the ERC, and together will provide a broader picture of current conditions compared to the 2015 ERC. Grades were assigned in each category based on compliance with environmental laws or numeric standards where applicable, on our best professional judgment, and on historical improvements and context. This year’s grades range from C-/ Incomplete to B, and although there is progress towards meeting local and state goals, and a number of new standards and regulations that will undoubtedly have a positive impact in years to come.

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LA Sustainable Water Project: Dominguez Channel & Machado Lake Watersheds

This 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 Dominguez Channel (DC) and Machado Lake (ML) watersheds.  To assess the integrated water landscape in this watershed, the report also looks at current practices and future opportunities at the Terminal Island Water Reclamation Plant (TIWRP) and in the underlying adjudicated groundwater basins: West Coast Basin and Central Basin.  

Implementing watershed-scale best management practice programs to meet stormwater permit requirements will significantly improve water quality in these watersheds. However, additional mechanisms such as implementing the City’s Low Impact Development ordinance and comprehensive source tracking and source control mechanisms will be required to potentially eliminate water quality exceedances.   

TIWRP currently treats nearly 15 million gallons per day (MGD) of wastewater with advanced-water treatment for reuse; however, sufficient demand exists locally to utilize approximately 25 MGD.  West Coast and Central Basins provide multiple opportunities to increase our local water supply through increasing recharge and extraction in these basins, including 450,000 acre feet of available dewatered space in the basins.  This research demonstrates the complex interrelationships between all aspects of urban water management, including, for example, stormwater management and local water supply.

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