Planning ahead mitigates flood risk for Los Angeles wastewater systems, roads, and low-lying communities

Feb 20, 2014

Los Angeles, a metropolis perched on the edge of a coast, can expect to experience sea level rise of as much as two feet due by 2050 due to climate change, according to current projections.

In anticipation, a team from USC partnered with the City of Los Angeles to gauge the impact of the rising tides on local communities and . The results, according to a report that was released today, are a mixed bag – but at-risk assets can be protected by proactive planning and early identification of adaptation measures, according to the report's authors.

"Some low-lying areas within the City's jurisdiction, such as Venice Beach and some areas of Wilmington and San Pedro, are already vulnerable to flooding," said Phyllis Grifman, lead author of the report and associate director of the USC Sea Grant Program. "Identifying where flooding is already observed during periods of storms and high tides, and analyzing other areas where flooding is projected are key elements in beginning effective planning for the future."

Other key findings from the report include:

  • The cityʼs wastewater management, storm water management and potable water systems are highly vulnerable to rise.
  • The Port of Los Angeles and the cityʼs would be mostly unaffected by the rise in sea level due to a replacement schedule that will allow the city to prepare for future needs to change infrastructure.
  • Projected flooding and erosion damage to roads along
  • the coast could impede emergency services.
  • Many cultural assets located along the coast, including museums, historic buildings and the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, could face damage.

Residents of low-lying communities, such as San Pedro and Wilmington, as well as those with older buildings and high numbers of renters, such as Venice, would be most affected by flooding. In particular, the Abbot Kinney corridor and the fragile Ballona wetlands are at risk. But the region's wide sandy beaches, if maintained, can provide a valuable bulwark against higher waters, according to the report.

Explore further: Obama says 'no greater threat to planet than climate change'

More information: The full report is available on the USC Sea Grant website:
www.usc.edu/org/seagrant/research/sea_level_rise_vulnerability.html.

Related Stories

Could Sandy happen again? Maybe, says geologist

Oct 17, 2013

Almost a year after Hurricane Sandy, parts of New York and New Jersey are still recovering from billions of dollars in flood damage. Tufts University geologist Andrew Kemp sees the possibility of damage from storms smaller ...

Recommended for you

China's struggle for water security

16 hours ago

Way back in 1999, before he became China's prime minister, Wen Jiabao warned that water scarcity posed one of the greatest threats to the "survival of the nation".

Canada revises upward CO2 emission data since 1990

17 hours ago

Canada revised its greenhouse gas emission data from 1990 to 2013 in a report Friday, showing it had higher carbon dioxide discharges each year, and a doubling of emissions from its oil sands.

Climate censorship gains steam in red states

Apr 17, 2015

While plenty of people found humor in the recent news that officials in Florida and Wisconsin are censoring state workers' ability to talk about, much less work on, climate change, other states are not necessarily laughing. ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.