Environment & Science

Villaraigosa, DWP hope to develop green power, jobs with JPL, Caltech

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The city of Los Angeles will collaborate with NASA and the California Institute of Technology to develop new water and power efficiency projects. KPCC’s Molly Peterson reports that L.A. officials hope the partnership will generate jobs.

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Department of Water and Power chief David Nahai joined the head of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Charles Elachi, to announce a three year partnership. The city of L.A. expects to take advantage of Caltech’s and JPL’s expertise in climate change science and environmental engineering to help cut L.A.’s greenhouse gas emissions and water use.

One project has already launched. DWP territory in the eastern Sierra includes an ancient lake bed with dust that can lower air quality nearby. The utility maintains a network of sprinklers to keep the dust down. Now Caltech and JPL will try to develop a remote sensor – so the DWP can run those sprinklers more efficiently. Villaraigosa has made clean technology a centerpiece of his proposals to improve the local economy and cut the double-digit jobless rate.