Tool unveiled for evaluating effects of potential reductions on L.A. River flows

Posted October 29, 2021

SCCWRP and its partners have developed a user-friendly, web-based tool that enables L.A. River water-quality managers to use an agreed-upon scientific approach for evaluating whether the river’s flows can be reduced for water recycling purposes, while simultaneously protecting ecological and recreational benefits provided by these flows.

The tool, unveiled in October, makes publicly accessible the technical process that more than 50 L.A. River management stakeholders earlier this year agreed to use to optimally balance competing demands on the L.A. River’s limited flows. More runoff and wastewater effluent discharges are expected to be diverted from the river in the coming years for water-recycling purposes.

The tool enables managers to develop science-informed environmental flow targets for the urban river after evaluating how a wide range of potential flow-reduction scenarios would affect the ecological and recreational benefits that are provided by the L.A. River’s flows.

The L.A. River approach to setting flow targets, published as a SCCWRP technical report and in a data portal, is expected to serve as a precedent-setting template that paves the way for managers to make environmental flow decisions for streams statewide.

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