A Colorado School of Mines professor is one of the lead authors on a recently published study examining the impact of water management strategies on the Los Angeles River watershed.
Terri Hogue, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Hydrologic Science and Engineering Program, worked with researchers at UCLA on the study, which is part of the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, a UCLA research initiative aiming to help transition Los Angeles County to 100 percent renewable energy and 100 percent locally sourced water by 2050.
Achieving that water independence, the study found, will require a careful balancing act from regional planners. Reducing the amount of stormwater or reclaimed water that rushes through the Los Angeles River to the ocean, for example, would also mean less river water for kayakers and wildlife.
For the study, researchers drew from 60 years of flow data to model changes in flow and water quality to understand the impacts that potential management measures – such as the use of porous pavement and the creation of man-made ponds -- would have on reducing stormwater pollution.
The Los Angeles River watershed covers 825 square miles, beginning in the southwest corner of the San Fernando Valley and ending at the Pacific Ocean.
“This type of modeling analysis provides invaluable information on the potential trade-offs among various stormwater pollution control measures that will improve water quality but also consider local water supply and flood control impacts,” Hogue said.
Hogue was joined on the research team by Mines graduate students Elizabeth Gallo and Ryan Edgley and postdoctoral fellow Laura Read. Leading the study was Mark Gold, associate vice chancellor for environment and sustainability at UCLA. Also contributing from UCLA were Katie Mika, Stephanie Pincetl and Kim Truong.
To read the full study, go to escholarship.org/uc/item/42m433ps.
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