The second stream of our work provides comprehensive drinking water system assessment, both for state policy makers to target disadvantaged community needs and for local policy makers to embrace regional collaboration opportunities. We have comprehensively characterized LA County’s 213 drinking water systems’ supply vulnerabilities, at-risk populations, conservation opportunities, and customer assistance programs in the Los Angeles County Community Water Systems Atlas. We further explored the issue of affordability and discovered enormous disparities in cost across the county's systems, as illustrated in a recent policy brief.
We are currently extending this work to establish a water market for the county which will enhance reliance on local water sources, unlock financing for green infrastructure, strengthen system resilience, and reduce existing price disparities. This work is supported by the UCLA Grand Challenges Initiative.