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“About 80% of rainfall in Southern California gets dumped into the ocean.”

If you’ve spent any time in Southern California this winter, you’ve probably noticed something a little out of the ordinary for the area: rain. A lot of it. In fact, between October 2018 and now, we’ve had over 15.80 inches of rain, which is 4.56 inches above average for the season!

But has the rain put a dent in the drought? Unfortunately…not really. This is because about 80% of rainfall in Southern California gets dumped into the ocean due to a variety of inefficiencies and structural issues, and much of the water that is captured is wasted or contaminated.

Luckily, there are some professors at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering doing research to help fix LA’s (and the world’s) water problems! Click the link below to learn more about Dr. Adam Smith’s work with agricultural water re-use, Dr. Kelly Sanders’ research on energy consumption of the water supply, Dr. Amy Childress’ take on wastewater reclamation, Dr. Felipe De Barros’ models on the spread of water contaminants, and how Dr. Mike Pirbazari is using bacteria to remove carcinogens in the water.



Michael Cox

Michael was born and raised in a small island town off the coast of Seattle. He went to USC, but he’s still a Pacfic Northwesterner at heart—he loves hiking, reading, and watching the Seattle sports teams disappoint him. At Viterbi, Michael counsels high school and transfer students in the application process.

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