Los Angeles Water Cycle
The water supply for the City of Los Angeles is an intertwined mix of imported and local water. This Sankey Diagram reveals critical opportunities to improve the resilience of the local water supply by enhancing runoff capture and recycling water for direct reuse and indirect groundwater recharge. If every available drop of water was recycled, the region will gain 502 million gallons of water a day, enough to slake the thirst of at least 5.5 million people (and enough to retire the Los Angeles Aqueduct). Currently, there is a system of purple pipes distributing a small amount of non-potable recycled water to industrial and municipal users, but no large scale recycling of water in Los Angeles County.
Capturing precipitation and runoff is more challenging because of the intermittent and highly variable nature of rain in Southern California – but distributed small scale efforts (such as rain barrels and rain gardens) are starting to make a substantial difference.
Note: quantities were converted from acre-feet into millions of gallons. Data utilized was a mix of water year, fiscal year, or calendar year – so quantities may not total 100%.
Sources: Los Angeles Water Cycle
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