Flood Risk Management

Expand the LA River from a single-purpose flood channel to a multi-functional waterway.

At present, the LA River is primarily designed for the single-use condition of providing flood control, and its management and maintenance is based on a “do no harm” clause. However, 99% of the time—361 days per year on average—there is less than 4 feet of water in the river, presenting additional opportunities for its use without compromising its primary function as a safe and effective flood channel.

Many cities, groups, and organizations throughout Southern California are actively pursuing ideas to create a multi-use purpose for the river in this condition, including addressing water quality, ecology, habitat, recreation, and open space concerns.

To support these efforts, we are working to establish the concept of a functional flow rate for various reaches of the river that would define the difference between a multi-use and single-use condition.