Sustainability Indicators for the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works Integrated Resources Plan

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The City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works funded an independent assessment of the sustainability of alternatives proposed under its Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) for the Wastewater Program. The IRP describes capital improvements and management measures for wastewater collection and treatment, biosolids, dry and wet weather runoff, recycled water, and water conservation. It is the intent of the City of Los Angeles that the plan and the resulting capital improvement program, environmental documentation, financial approach, and public outreach program promote a sustainable future for the City. The Department's activities are considered sustainable if their social, economic, and environmental impacts do not degrade the abilities of future generations to serve their needs as we serve ours.

Indicators were designed and implemented for a wastewater treatment system that handles sanitary wastewater, stormwater, and dry weather runoff. The indicators cover a complex system comprising many facilities, large and small, distributed over a large area. Measurements cover a large variety of procedures, from detailed treatment plant operations to development of an advertising program that will discourage littering. Further, the indicators seek to capture the impacts on social, economic, and environmental systems that extend throughout the watershed of the Los Angeles River and smaller adjacent systems. The purpose of the study was to develop a set of indicators that will help managers evaluate the sustainability consequences of their decisions. Such indicators must measure the sustainability of the system as it currently exists and predict the sustainability of alternatives considered under the IRP. This paper discusses the metrics that were used to assess the sustainability of the alternatives in the IRP.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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