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Hot Topics - Thursday, Dec 9

Thursday, December 9, 2021

A New Day for Green and Multi-Benefit Infrastructure/Programs in LA County: the Safe Clean Water Program
TJ Moon and Matt Frary*, Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

In 2018, voters in Los Angeles County, California passed Measure W to establish the Safe Clean Water Program (Program).  This one-of-a-kind Program has empowered the County to step up its leadership in multi-benefit and green infrastructure, fostering a paradigm shift across the entire region that is sustained by ongoing resources, collaborative and diverse governance, and robust equity and stewardship provisions to establish a lasting and meaningful trajectory.  The lofty goals of the program are centered in three primary objectives – improving water quality, increasing water supply, and enhancing communities and public health – and have already led to significant multi-benefit investments across the region.  The adaptive Program implementation and management process, in tandem with focused engagement with (and participation by) others, continues to create a space to explore and implement green infrastructure now and in the future.

The County’s own stormwater project development efforts have been a model of success during early implementation phases, demonstrating the principles of the Program in numerous ways and bringing together multiple entities to advance the Program goals in efficient and innovative ways.  Many years of partnership and planning within the region had laid the groundwork for this exciting new era, but the paradigm shift is finally here – and we invite all to learn more about the Program itself and the related efforts by the County to maximize this opportunity and lead by example.


The Resiliency Cycle
William Deane, Paul Tschirky* and Andrew Wycklendt, APTIM; Chip Kline, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

In the face of changing climate and growing costs of natural disasters, resilience of built and natural systems and communities is vital.  Resilience is most often defined as the ability to bounce back or recover from a shock or disaster.  The speed and cost of this recovery is not fully based on a single event, but is based on the planning, design, and preparation completed in advance of the disaster, the ability to resist/absorb the disaster, and then the post-disaster response and adaptation efforts.  After a shock or disaster there is a reevaluation period and modifications are made to the plans, designs, and response methodology to decrease the time and cost of recovery from subsequent disasters – RESILIENCE. 

This presentation/panel discusses how true resilience is a cycle that transitions from planning through disaster recovery and back to planning.  Aspects of the resilience cycle will be discussed from assessing risk and vulnerability, planning and prioritizing, designing and implementing solutions, responding to natural disasters, recovering, adapting, and then back through the cycle by sharing details from federal, state, and engineering viewpoints. This will include Federal (FEMA) and State (Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority) perspectives, together with engineers and disaster response and recovery professionals discussing the interconnectivity and interaction of the elements of the Resiliency Cycle.

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