Front Page News:

Investing in water resilience for a reliable water supply

October Report from the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) –

Climate change effects in California are already occurring, with substantial further effects likely to emerge through this century. Climate change impacts — which include reduced snowpack, shorter and more intense precipitation events, more severe drought periods, and sea level rise — will fundamentally change both water supply and flood management. These challenges require California to actively plan for shifts in precipitation, runoff and extreme events to meet the water needs of California’s communities, economy and the environment through the 21st Century. For California to maintain a reliable water supply, further investment in our water system’s infrastructure is critical. There is broad recognition that the state’s water management system is currently struggling to meet both human and ecological needs. (more)

Addressing Inequality in Flood Risk

From The Public Policy Institute

BRETT SANDERS: We basically rely on Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps to evaluate flood risk across the state. We make a lot of decisions on the risk to property and people based on whether they live inside or outside of the high flood risk zones those maps show. FEMA maps are fairly cryptic about flood hazard, and they’re not designed to help the average person understand their exposure to floods or what the impacts might be. This approach does a poor job of preparing communities to be more resilient to flooding. (more)

Metropolitan Water District to Launch Further Stormwater Recharge Potential Study

From California Water News Daily The September-approved study aims to provide vital data on the most cost efficient and cost-effective methods to capture and use stormwater runoff. As opposed to the new $5 million pilot program the September-approved study focuses on direct-use projects which capture stormwater in cisterns or underground collection systems and use it on-site for nonpotable purposes like irrigation. The new $7.5 million will fund the construction of new stormwater projects and the installation of monitoring equipment on existing ones. The program will also gather data on the amount of water produced by projects that capture local rainfall and stormwater runoff and use it to recharge groundwater basins in the region. (more)

Watershed University Invitation: Prepare Your Agency for Flood Season in California

Event to be held at the following time and date: Monday, November 18, 2019 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (PST)

Learn about resources that will help you prepare your agency for flood season in California. Curious about the outlook for this winter’s weather? Ever wondered about roles and responsibilities for state and local agencies during floods? Need to know how to request flood fight resources? Based on the information shared during the annual preseason flood coordination meetings, this webinar will help you prepare your agency for flood response this winter. Elizabeth Bryson and Cindy Matthews will provide valuable resources and information about what to expect this year. (more)

CA WATER COMMISSION: Proposed rule making for procedure for Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act determinations

From – The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act was enacted by Congress on December 16, 2016. The purposes of the WIIN Act include improving water infrastructure across the country. Section 4007 addresses water projects in California and makes funding available to build water storage projects in California.  The proposed regulations provide the process for a project proponent to obtain the California Water Commission’s determination that the project is consistent with Proposition 1, which was codified as Division 26.7 of the California Water Code and approved by voters in November 2014. (more)

Water Officials Work To Assist Recharge Projects

From AgAlert – A technique that would help California manage floodwater and replenish groundwater has gained more attention, and removing barriers to the strategy known as Flood-MAR provided the focus for a conference in Sacramento. Flood-managed aquifer recharge involves moving floodwater from surface streams onto land where it could percolate into a groundwater basin. Though the concept sounds simple, it brings complications that include managing the floodwater, finding appropriate land to accept it and establishing rights to the water involved. At last week’s conference, about 200 state water officials, farmers, researchers and representatives of non-governmental organizations gathered to discuss aspects of Flood-MAR such as formulating multi-benefit projects, incentivizing aquifer recharge, its application to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, and improving policy and regulations to support the strategy. (more)

Here’s how $500M new reservoir planned near Patterson would work

From The Modesto Bee A proposed reservoir in Del Puerto Canyon, just west of Patterson, promises reliable water deliveries for farms in western Stanislaus County and nearby counties.

It could serve to recharge groundwater for Patterson, a city of 23,750 residents, while other proposed benefits are water deliveries for wildlife refuges and flood control on occasions when storms threaten flash floods on Del Puerto Creek. Proponents including Del Puerto Water District and the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority discussed the multiple benefits of the Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir at a press briefing Monday. A draft environmental study on one of the newest water storage projects in California will be released in late November. (more)

Emergency response teams meet district’s newest flood fight tool

From USACE Sacramento District This particular flood fight training focused on two specific areas. One is to ensure that district flood fighters and partner agencies such as Silver Jackets, Department of Water Resources, and City of Sacramento know the procedures for obtaining equipment, who to reach, and how to reach them. The other focus is ensuring that Corps and partner agencies know how to properly use the equipment that is available to them, such as super-sacks, Port-A-Dams, gabion baskets, and the district’s latest flood fight tool – a sandbagging machine. With approximately 30 people from various agencies in attendance, Lesourd split the group into two teams. While one team practiced properly sandbagging a “boil” or “leak in a levee,” the other team learned how quickly they can now pack the back of a pickup truck full of sandbags using the district’s newest tool. (more)

Understanding Streamflow is Vital to Water Management in California, but Gaps in Data Exist

From The Water Education Foundation California is chock full of rivers and creeks, yet the state’s network of stream gauges has significant gaps that limit real-time tracking of how much water is flowing downstream, information that is vital for flood protection, forecasting water supplies and knowing what the future might bring. That network of stream gauges got a big boost Sept. 30 with the signing of SB 19. Authored by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa), the law requires the state to develop a stream gauge deployment plan, focusing on reactivating existing gauges that have been offline for lack of funding and other reasons. Nearly half of California’s stream gauges are dormant. (more)

California Flood Preparedness Week helps residents learn about flood risk

California Flood Preparedness Week is an annual state-wide effort to educate and help protect the public from the devastating effects of flooding. The Central Valley Flood Protection Board, along with many agencies and county governments, is involved in that effort.

From Fox40News – VideoMae was in-studio with Chris Orrock from the California Department of Water Resources and they talked about California Flood Preparedness Week and the resources available for residents to help take action against potential flooding. (more)

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Greg Harvey has been selected as the Board’s Plan Implementation and Compliance Branch Chief, effective July 1, 2019. Greg has over 18 years of experience in the engineering field and has been with the Board since 2017. Since that time, Greg has played an active role in the coordination with key agencies for the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan Update, managed multiple flood system improvement projects, and acted as PIC Branch Supervisor for nine months. Congratulations, Greg!