THE WATER RESILIENCE PLAN
The LA County Board of Supervisors directed the Department of Public Works (DPW) in Spring 2016 to develop a Water Resilience Plan outlining integrated strategies to increase drought preparedness and local water self-reliance, improve water quality to protect public health and the environment, and support communities’ abilities to adapt to the effects of climate change.
WHY IT’S NEEDED
INTEGRATING WATER MANAGEMENT IN THE COUNTY
- Water management in LA County is vast, diverse and complicated. With more than 10 million residents in 88 cities served by more than 200 water oversight agencies and a fragmented infrastructure, the current system prevents the region from efficiently saving and best utilizing its water resources.
RESPONDING TO CLIMATE EXTREMES
- California’s new climate reality is one of extreme weather cycles, escalating quickly from a debilitating drought to historic rainfall and catastrophic flooding.
- While weather extremes pose threats, they also provide opportunity. We have to find a way to better balance – and even take advantage – of these wild extremes.
DEVELOPING THE PLAN
- LA County is developing the Water Resilience Plan in coordination with other county departments, cities, local water agencies, business stakeholders, non-profit organizations, school districts and other regional stakeholders. A first draft is expected to be completed in the Summer of 2017, but will continue to be developed with stakeholder input through 2018.
- The Water Resilience Plan will offer options for essential investments in our infrastructure and underscore those water strategies with the greatest potential for significant impact. It will also survey existing resources that might be leveraged or allocated more effectively and efficiently.
- Stakeholder engagement and input will be essential. Not only does the plan require dedicated water professionals, it requires people coming to the table and rolling up their sleeves – lending their perspectives to the development of this critical effort.
STORMWATER CAPTURE EXPENDITURE PLAN
- Through a recent needs assessment, LA County determined stormwater capture projects offer a unique opportunity to address urgent water quality needs and catch more rainfall during big storms – ultimately helping to ease the impacts of drought cycles that will return.
- However, while other types of water supply infrastructure are supported by reliable revenue, stormwater projects are stranded with little or no existing funding.
- LA County understands the need to responsibly manage public funds. That’s why DPW has been directed to develop an associated Expenditure Plan that will determine an appropriate parcel tax to implement stormwater capture and water quality projects and programs in the region.
- LA County is at a tipping point in water management, grappling with the mounting impacts of climate change and aging infrastructure. Robust planning and strategic investment will help ensure we have clean, reliable water for the future.