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What We Do /

Adaptive Management

The Safe, Clean Water Program deploys Adaptive Management through a variety of strategies to ensure we’re achieving Program goals and meeting the needs of LA County.

Adaptive Management is an intentional approach to making decisions and adjustments in response to new learnings. 

Initial Watershed Plans for each of the nine Safe, Clean Water Program (SCW Program) Watershed Areas are in development to establish watershed-specific targets, priorities, and strategies that will inform future investments and maximize progress toward achieving the goals of the SCW Program. The Watershed Plans will guide regional planning by identifying prioritized Watershed Area needs and the most promising opportunity areas for the development of impactful water quality, water supply, and community enhancing multi-benefit projects. This includes building upon past and in-progress efforts, incorporates meaningful stakeholder and community feedback, and assesses available information and best practices to create interactive, transparent, and accessible tools valuable for project development and watershed planning.

Please refer to the Committees weblinks at the bottom of this page for upcoming governance committee meeting dates and agendas that will include Watershed Planning discussions.  

For more information on Watershed Planning, please email us at

This biennial SCWP Progress Report (Report) by the Regional Oversight Committee (ROC) provides an update on SCWP progress, assesses the extent to which SCWP Program Goals are being achieved, and provides findings and recommendations to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (Board) for adaptive management of the program. This is the first Biennial Report since the establishment of the SCWP.  It covers the substantial efforts of the Program’s initial five years getting a very large and complex program underway (and includes data from the first two years of reports that are now available).

Project Modification Guidelines have been created to provide more specific guidance to WASCs, applicants, recipients, and other interested stakeholders when modifications to a project, project concept, or study are proposed during the course of a typical fiscal year. The new Project Modification Request (PMR) form will help to facilitate the timely and transparent resolution of proposed modifications. 

The Metrics and Monitoring Study (MMS) is designed to develop program methods, metrics, and monitoring criteria to inform tracking, planning, reporting, and decision making within specific areas of the Program. The study is being conducted by an interdisciplinary consultant team with expertise in both the technical and socio-political elements of metrics-setting, in coordination with the Flood Control District, and informed by extensive stakeholder involvement. Recommendations from the MMS will help inform adaptive management of the Program, potentially including updates to guidance documents, scoring criteria, monitoring, and project development. Find archived events related to the Metrics and Monitoring Study here.

Interim Guidance has been established to provide more specific guidance around four key areas of the Safe, Clean Water Program: strengthening community engagement and support, water supply, programming nature based solutions, and implementing disadvantaged community policies in the Regional Program.   

In response to learnings from the MMS, the Safe, Clean Water Program has implemented a pilot program that will establish an alternative scoring criteria for Water Supply Benefits for the 2024-25 call for projects. Applicants will be able to select whether their proposal should be scored per the original or pilot scoring options for Water Supply Benefits.

Experience-to-date indicated the need for flexibility to allow Watershed Area Steering Committees (WASCs) to recommend partial funding for certain Infrastructure Program Projects or Scientific Studies applications. The purpose of this guidance is to describe the process to address partial funding awards.