Front Page News:

California bill would make levee encampments illegal

From KCRA3 A bill would enhance protections along levees and bypasses, as well as make it illegal to put up encampments on the structures, following a KCRA3 investigation. Assembly member Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, authored AB 137, which would prohibit people from altering the stability of levees or bypasses, as well as prohibit people from living and camping on the structures. The legislation would make it a misdemeanor charge. “I saw the story on KCRA3,” Cooper said. “For the past five or 10 years, we spent over $3 billion to shore up our levees. And we’ve seen levee breaks here in the Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley and how devastating it can be.” A KCRA3 investigation found some encampments along Sacramento River levees in the Natomas area were digging and carving into the levee, posing a threat to thousands of homes on the floodplain. “The encampment site was about 25 to 30 feet in width and went down about 4 or 5 feet,” said Kevin King, with Reclamation District 1000. “Unfortunately, when that happens, it does compromise the integrity of the levee.” (more)

Riverine Stewardship Program Offers $48 Million in Competitive Grants

From CA Dept. of Water Resources – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) released the final Guidelines and Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP) for the Riverine Stewardship Program on July 1, 2019. The grant program supports planning and implementation of projects that restore streams, creeks, and rivers to enhance the environment for fish, wildlife, and people. Approximately $48.3 million in funding is available for competitive grants. DWR will grant funds through two subprograms: Urban Streams Restoration Program (USRP) and San Joaquin Fish Population Enhancement Program (SJFPEP). (more)

Watershed University Invitation: Community Rating System: Implementation and Program Enhancement Guidance

From Watershed University Floodplain Administrators from communities that have voluntarily joined the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) or are considering entering the program often face a variety of challenges with program implementation or initiation. Whether a community is seeking to better their CRS rating or is concerned with taking on the activities required to enter the program for the first time, this presentation will help provide local Floodplain Administrators with a strategy for reaching their community’s CRS goals (more)

With large Sierra snowpack, DWR could soon release water over the Oroville Dam spillway

From – Recent rains and snow pack could force California’s Department of Water Resources to release Oroville Dam’s main spillway as early as next week.  Currently, the 2019 snowpack for California is now the fifth largest on record dating back to 1950, according to DWR officials. As of Monday, the snowpack is slightly larger than the amount in 2017 when the state received more rain. However, the winter of 2018-19 has been uncharacteristically colder, resulting in a greater snowpack… (more)

Harder Secures Nearly $14 Million for Four Central Valley, Regional Water Projects in House Funding Bill

Four Projects Included in Harder’s SAVE Water Resources Act Named in Final Energy and Water Appropriations Bill 

From “The Energy and Water Development appropriations bill funds critical infrastructure projects throughout the country. I am especially pleased that our bill includes four projects — the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program, the Sites Reservoir, the Los Vaqueros Reservoir, and the Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir — that will make a difference in the lives of Californians. These projects would not have been included without the hard work of Representative Harder and I commend him on his steadfast advocacy for his community,” said Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. (more)

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy awards $11 million in Prop 1 grants

From the Delta Conservancy We are proud to announce that the Delta Conservancy Board has approved seven grants, totaling $11 million, as part of the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1) Grant Program. Combined, these seven projects involve 51 entities partnering together to improve the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. These projects are part of the fourth cycle of Proposition 1 grants awarded by the Delta Conservancy. To date the program has funded $35.3 million for 26 grants, benefiting more than 8,065 acres of habitat in the Delta. Click here to view the full list of projects.

Floodplain Management Association (FMA) Quarterly Newsletter

The Central Valley Flood Protection Board supports local and national organizations and associations that inform, collaborate, and contribute to flood management knowledge, legislative representation, and action. FMA is one of those associations.

Link to their quarterly newsletter:

Legislation News:

Dodd plan to improve water management clears senate

From enterprise – Legislation from State Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that would help the state manage its water, protecting the precious resource for people and the environment, cleared the full Senate Monday afternoon. “You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” Sen. Dodd said. “Stream gages provide important information in this era of droughts and flooding, driven in part by climate change. This bill is an important step toward managing our water for the long run.” (more)

Tulare County supervisors to support water over high-speed rail

From Visalia Times Delta – Tulare County Supervisors will vote to approve a letter of support for proposed legislation that will bring up to $3.5 billion for water infrastructure improvements. The money comes at a cost to California’s biggest undertaking — high-speed rail. Introduced by Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), H.R. 1600, the Repurposing Assets to Increase Long-term Water Availability and Yield (RAILWAY) Act, would divert recovered federal money from the California High-Speed Rail project to water infrastructure projects in California and the west. (more)

NorCal Reservoirs Approaching Capacity with more Snow in Sierra

Picture reflects lake levels as of 5/6/19, before latest storms. From KCRA3 News With more rain and snow in the forecast this week, managers continue to release water from Northern California reservoirs.

Most lakes in the northern half of the state are approaching capacity with significant runoff still pouring in from the snowcapped Sierra crest. On Tuesday morning, Folsom Lake was at 95% of capacity and 118% of average for this time of year. The lake’s elevation was at 461.63 feet above sea level at 2 a.m. Tuesday, just 4.37 feet below the lake’s rim. Water was being released at nearly the same rate it was coming in to maintain the current water level. (more)

Restoring California’s Great Estuary – Video

From Deputy Director of Integrated Watershed Management Kristopher Tjernell, Department of Water Resources A great short video highlighting current ecosystem restoration efforts in the mighty Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta.

Link to Video:

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Darren Suen has been selected for the Board’s new Policy Advisor position. He performed this function in Acting capacity for the last year, working to raise awareness about the Board’s role in flood management and to advance flood policies that support public safety and provide benefits to the environment and agriculture communities. Prior, Darren was the Department of Water Resources serving as Program Lead and Policy Advisor for the Assistant Division Chief of the Flood Management Division and the Deputy Director in Flood Operations Center during flood emergencies. Darren has a long career in program management and flood control, working in private, State, and federal agencies. Currently, he also serves as a member of the Elk Grove City Council. Congratulations to Darren!

Michael Wright has been selected to fill the Chief Engineer position beginning April 2, 2019. Michael has been with the Board since 2011. During his tenure, Michael has held multiple supervisory positions, including Enforcement Section Chief, Acting Operations Branch Chief, and Plan Implementation and Compliance Branch Chief. For the past eight months, he has been filling the Chief Engineer role. Congratulations, Michael Wright.