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LASAN Safe Clean Water Program

Ballona Creek

Project Name

LASAN Safe Clean Water Program


Los Angeles Sanitation & Environment (LASAN)




Understanding that they needed to develop ways to create local sources of water and minimize the need for imported water, withstand the impacts of drought and climate change, and minimize pollution (in compliance with the Federal Clean Water Act), Los Angeles County placed the successful Measure W on the ballot in 2018. Property owners approved a special parcel tax that created the Safe Clean Water Program (SCWP). The parcel tax has created a program that invests approximately $280 million annually into stormwater capture projects and programs.

The program is specifically designed to deliver multiple benefits for local areas, including climate resiliency, equitable distribution of resources, and measurable results. Since the passage of Measure W, more than $700 million has been allocated to support 101 multi-benefit stormwater projects throughout the county.

Cordoba’s Role

Cordoba professionals supported the development and passage of Measure W by bringing together key stakeholders. More importantly, our team provided policy analysis to ensure that the stated objectives of Measure W would result in definitive improvements that are measurable and deliver intended results. Key to the analysis was a technical evaluation of stormwater capture methodologies and the locations of where they could be successfully implemented. This critical analysis ensured that the parcel tax was effectively utilized and provided elected officials and agency staff with technically sound talking points for promoting the measure, which passed with a substantial 69.45% vote.

Cordoba has partnered with Los Angeles Sanitation & Environment (LASAN) since early 2018 to implement the Safe Clean Water Program initially in anticipation of the passage of Measure W in Los Angeles County. The Cordoba team developed a strategic plan and organizational approach—building a program from the ground up. Our team essentially created a business plan for the entire program. Key elements included:

  • Financial plan, funding allocation, and guidelines

  • Development of a governance structure and identification of necessary internal and/or external approvals to move projects forward at both the regional and municipal levels

  • Definition of qualifying projects and technical requirements for effectiveness along with scoring guidelines

  • Prioritization analysis to determine order of projects (ensuring the projects meet the goals of the program)

  • Project controls and delivery guidelines

Clean Safe Water has subsequently implemented projects funded by Measure W and Cordoba staff has continued support of the efforts by providing a range of services including design and engineering, feasibility studies, environmental engineering and permitting, value engineering, concept reports, project controls and document management, and development of Best Management Practices (BMPs).

These multi-benefit stormwater capture projects involve the removal of pollutants, improving flood management and flood conveyance, increasing water supply by capturing surface water runoff, recycling water by means of irrigation and/or treatment, and improving the aesthetic character of communities with the addition of bioswales and trees. The projects incorporate nature-based solutions (NBS) that include natural landscapes, reduce flooding, increase stormwater capture, enhance water quality, recharge the local groundwater table, and provide community enhancements. NBS solutions include permeable pavers, bioswales, infiltration planters, and tree planting. The projects have also included traditional stormwater capture technologies such as detention basins, storm drains, and dry well systems.

Cordoba also provided strategic outreach services, which included development of the programmatic draft Community Outreach and Engagement Plan and creation of a “toolkit” for LASAN to use for outreach and engagement. Items produced by Cordoba in support of this effort included a program logo, social media templates, presentation templates, e-blast templates, and report templates. Other services included drafting content for program and project e-blasts; creating content for LASAN’s website; and monitoring and reporting on County Safe Clean Water Program meetings and issues. As part of work developing feasibility studies and concept reports for LASAN, the Cordoba team worked closely with LASAN staff to conduct community outreach and engagement activities in project areas, which included developing project fact sheets, presentations, surveys, and setting up community meetings and briefings with stakeholders.


  • Engineering
  • Program management support
  • Feasibility studies
  • Stakeholder outreach
  • Planning
  • Permit center staff augmentation