UCLA researchers suggested ways to prevent water crises in Los Angeles in a paper based on 10 years of research.
The paper, published in the Journal of Environmental Management, suggests that eliminating outdoor landscaping and lawns could reduce water waste by 30 percent. Landscaping strategically, by placing plants under tree canopy shade, could help improve the problem as well.
Currently, 60 percent of Los Angeles’ water supply is imported from hundreds of miles away, which is inefficient and can destroy ecosystems. The article recommends importing water only when Los Angeles is not in a drought, to build a surplus of water for dry years.
The paper also argues for the use of local water to reduce the environmental impact of imported water. For example, groundwater basins that catch stormwater could be used to recycle water. However, making these improvements would require the cooperation of more than 100 agencies, many of whom don’t want to risk losing funding by changing the way they handle water resources. The paper suggests that creating a new system of authority among agencies could help manage water resources in Los Angeles.
In November, Los Angeles passed the Safe, Clean Water Act, which funds projects that focus on catching stormwater and improving water supply in California. The paper published by UCLA researchers could guide how the city uses these funds.