Founded in the aftermath of a series of devastating floods, the Los Angeles County Flood Control District was established in 1915 with an urgent mission to safeguard residents of the rapidly growing metropolis during seasons of torrential rainfall while capturing valuable stormwater to boost the local water supply.
In the 100 years since, the Flood Control District has stayed true to its mission, expanding and maintaining a network of facilities that includes 14 major dams, 27 spreading grounds and 487 miles of open channel within a 2,752 mile service area. The District is recognized as a regional and national leader in water resource management, and has established itself as an innovator in creating “multi-benefit projects” that provide flood protection, sources of clean drinking water, open space and solutions to a host of social and environmental issues. Whether it’s driving kids to school in the rain, taking in the natural beauty of the Dominguez Gap Wetlands or living below the highly-erosive and fire-prone San Gabriel Mountains, millions of people enjoy the benefits of the county’s world-class stormwater management system.
This new Public Works documentary, featuring rarely-seen images and footage—along with commentary from eminent historian William Deverell, community members and regional partners, including Heal the Bay—commemorates the District’s first century of service. In addition to offering a behind-the-scenes look at its formation and a compelling sense of its modern day work, it also looks ahead at the challenges and opportunities that will define the District in its next 100 years, including a strong focus on collaboration and sustainable solutions. While Los Angeles County’s landscape has changed dramatically over the past century, the District’s mission of protecting lives and property and recharging local groundwater supplies remains as relevant as ever.