Approaches to Analyzing the Vulnerability of Community Water Systems to Groundwater Contamination in Los Angeles County

Published in: Research in Mathematics and Public Policy, Chapter 2, pages 19–28 (2020). doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-58748-2_2

Posted on RAND.org on December 22, 2020

by Michelle E. Miro, Kelsea Best, Nur Kaynar, Rachel Kirpes, Aisha Najera Chesler

Read More

Access further information on this document at Research in Mathematics and Public Policy

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Groundwater resources are increasingly drawn on as means to buffer surface water shortages during droughts as well as to improve the Los Angeles region's reliance on local, rather than imported, water sources. However, the Los Angeles region is home to a legacy of contamination that threatens the quality and safety of groundwater as a drinking water resource. As utilities and other water management entities in the Los Angeles region look to increase their reliance on groundwater resources, a comprehensive understanding of which community water systems may be vulnerable to contamination can help planners, policy makers and regulators support these communities. This paper details the objectives, process and lessons learned from a workshop-based research project that examined the spatial extent of groundwater contamination in Los Angeles County's groundwater basins. Our team of researchers cleaned and processed multiple geospatial datasets and utilized logistic regression and machine learning methods to predict which community drinking water systems are particularly vulnerable to groundwater contamination.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.