Identifying Key Indicators for Adaptive Management of the Metropolitan Water District's Integrated Resource Plan



The 2010 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) Update developed by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (the Metropolitan) describes a preferred resource mix that would meet projected demand and most expected contingencies through 2035. However, recognizing that Metropolitan and the region face many significant uncertainties over the next 25 years, the plan also describes an adaptive management approach that will monitor key trends and modify the preferred resource mix as necessary.


As part of the IRP update process, RAND helped Metropolitan develop a quantitative framework for formulating a robust, adaptive IRP and also developed a modeling system that can estimate how the IRP will perform under future hydrologic conditions influenced by climate change and other long-term uncertainties.

The RAND analysis used Metropolitan's new adaptive planning and modeling framework to

  1. evaluate how vulnerable the IRP is to climate change and other future uncertainties and
  2. suggest those future conditions that should be closely monitored over time to inform the ongoing adaptation of the IRP to ensure success in an uncertain future.

Research Team

Robert Lempert, Principal Investigator
David Groves
Jordan Fischbach
Evan Bloom