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Systems Modeling for Integrated Planning in the City of Los Angeles: Using Simulation as a Tool for Decision Making

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The Integrated Plan for the Wastewater Program (IPWP) is a comprehensive and innovative approach the City of Los Angeles undertook to update its wastewater facilities plan. The IPWP was a public stakeholder driven effort designed to develop policies to guide the planning and implementation for future wastewater collection, treatment, reuse and disposal projects. The policy development process was characterized by the analysis of the wastewater program in relation to its impacts to the potable water, recycled water, and stormwater systems.

An integrated systems model was developed to measure the performance of policy alternatives in relation to a set of objectives and performance measures established by stakeholders. The model represented the relationships between the elements of the wastewater service function, and the relationships between the wastewater and the water, recycled water and stormwater systems.

By emphasizing the relationships between the service functions, the model accounted for the impacts of management decisions beyond the wastewater components, which was critical for a stakeholder-driven, multi-objective process. The model provided an objective and flexible technical framework for decision-making, and enabled decisionmakers to develop and test integrated policy alternatives. The conceptual character of the model proved to be appropriate for this policy-planning project.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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