Managing water resources in Los Angeles County is complicated. The county is sustained by a complex network of natural and engineered water systems that work collectively to meet the needs of the communities and environment. With more than 200 water supply, wastewater treatment, flood control, and land management agencies, working together on a regional scale is critical to facilitating the resilience and sustainability of such a critical resource.
Los Angeles County Public Works (LACPW) hired Woodard & Curran to engage all these agencies, as well as water-related stakeholders, that share many common goals and challenges around enhancing the sustainability of their shared water resources. Our water resource planning experts collaborated with these agencies and stakeholders to facilitate the creation and implementation of a planning framework for the first-ever Los Angeles County Water Plan (CWP).
The CWP seeks to establish a consistent vision for cooperative water management and serves to complement other regional and local water management planning efforts. To that end, the CWP developed specific regional targets, strategies, and actions in four key areas not directly covered through other efforts:
Once Woodard & Curran completed the planning framework, we supported LACPW through a two-year planning process, which included more than 100 meetings, workshops, and listening sessions. These various events were intended to bring community together and facilitate relationship building and partnerships in the CWP development process. As much of this work occurred during the global pandemic, many sessions were held virtually due to California’s COVID-19 related restrictions and divided into the following categories:
To aid in the facilitation of these meetings, Woodard & Curran developed a customizable, interactive planning portal to foster interactions with stakeholders, provide enhanced water resource education, facilitate document review, and encourage greater participation.
This robust public engagement process allowed Woodard & Curran’s team to identify four focus areas with 16 key targets with a calculated baseline and measurable metrics based on known data sources or planned data collection as part of CWP implementation process. Our information and data management team coded a data framework to collect, aggregate, and analyze data within the planning portal. This innovative programming created an automated and customizable template to show annual progress on all 16 targets.
The CWP planning process also identified 14 strategies, for which several actionable items were identified. To implement this aspect of the CWP, Woodard & Curran partnered with stakeholders to create a two-year action plan with realistic and specific near-term steps that could be taken through the CWP collective.
Our staff is continuing to work with LACPW staff during the draft CWP public review period to develop an implementation program framework that identifies potential partnerships with program funding entities, opportunities to increase stakeholder participation, and means to ensure successful implementation and progress reporting on established CWP targets.