Advising the Metropolitan Water District's Blue Ribbon Commission


The Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California established an independent Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC) in January 2010 to bring together a diverse and broadly experienced group of regional leaders to think strategically about Metropolitan and its member agencies' future, without the constraints of current practice, rules, and laws.

The Board asked the BRC to consider trends and uncertainties over the next 50 years that could affect Metropolitan and its members in significant ways. The Board also asked the BRC to consider whether Metropolitan's present business model would be reliable, resilient, and robust under a wide range of future conditions. Finally, the Board asked the BRC to conceptualize a vision of Metropolitan's business model in 2060 that would lead to continued success in the region over these possible futures.


In this project, RAND assisted Metropolitan in determining which trends are most useful to monitor in order to implement its adaptive management strategy. In particular, RAND supported the BRC to develop recommendations to the Metropolitan Board for a new business model for the agency that will enable it to meet its goals over the next fifty years. The final BRC report was presented the Metropolitan Board on April 12, 2011.

Research Team

Robert Lempert, Principal Investigator
David Groves
Debra Knopman
Steven Popper
Joy Moini
Paul Steinberg