On Water Sustainability, L.A. County Earns C+ From UCLA Environmental Report Card


But researchers point to expected funding for stormwater capture and cleanup projects as positive step.

Los Angeles County’s grades are in, and UCLA’s latest environmental report card gives the region an overall passing C+ mark for water sustainability.

Dismal grades for polluted groundwater and water bodies like the Los Angeles River brought down the overall average grade in the 2019 Sustainable LA Grand Challenge Environmental Report Card for Los Angeles County on Water.

But with the county’s Measure W expected to generate $300 million annually for stormwater capture and cleaning projects starting in 2020, the UCLA researchers see reason to believe that there will be improvement in a few of the most problematic areas.

“The Los Angeles we know today exists only because of vast water infrastructure that takes water from hundreds of miles away and pumps it here,” said Cassie Rauser, an author of the study and the director of the UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge. “With L.A. getting hotter and rain becoming more unpredictable throughout the state, we need to move to more dependable, drought-resistant local water sources.”

Felicia Federico, executive director of the California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA and the report’s lead author, said the county would have a long way to go to earn an A grade.

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