How Infrastructure Standards Miss the Mark on Snowmelt

From Eos – Science News – Nationwide, civil engineers consider precipitation values from NOAA to design their structures. But those values are missing another contributor to flood risk: snowmelt. California’s Oroville Dam holds back a reservoir that provides water for 23 million people. In February 2017, rainstorms doused the area and filled the reservoir beyond its normal capacity. Excess water was released through the main spillway, but the structure failed, and 188,000 people living downstream evacuated to avoid potential floods. Snowmelt was one of the factors that figured into the spillway failure at California’s Oroville Dam in 2017. (more).



Oct. 17-24 is CA Flood Preparedness Week. Flood Risk Knowledge is Vital for Everyone.

The annual California Flood Preparedness Week (CFPW) will be held from October 17-24, 2020. Federal, state and local agencies will join together to inform all Californians on the types of flooding that impact various communities in California, engage kids with interactive demonstrations and exhibits, and share actions to reduce flood risk exposure. The goals of this statewide effort are to increase public awareness of flooding and improve public safety for all Californians. (more)


Public comments sought on plan to turn flooded Delta island into marshlands

From East Bay Times Residents have until Wednesday to comment on a proposal for restoring Franks Tract, a 3,000-acre flooded island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, to marshlands. A public draft of the proposal identifies three optional concepts for restoring the tract. Leaving the tract in its current state is a fourth option. The preferred concept that’s emerged after several public meetings would restore about 1,000 acres to tidal marsh habitat and deepen other areas to provide fill for the marsh. Community concerns regarding navigation and recreation would also be addressed, according to the plan. “For this report, we worked with the local community to come up with concepts for restoration that address not only biological objectives but also recreation, navigation, flood concerns and economic concerns,” said Carl Wilcox, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Delta policy adviser. (more).

Pre Disaster Flood Mitigation

From cal OES – FEMA offering funding through building, flood mitigation programs. Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC)

 & Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released information about funding available from two programs: Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities, and Flood Mitigation Assistance. On Tuesday, Sept. 1, FEMA will host a webinar on avoiding application pitfalls. Applicants must submit a notice of interest by Friday, Sept. 18. (more)

Now is the Time to Create a Shared-Vision for Water in The San Joaquin Valley

From Water Wrights- Life as we know it cannot survive without water, and as we continue our exploration of space, scientists search for the presence of water on other planets. If there is water, there could be life, or maybe the planet could sustain life. We search for usable water on other planets because we know it to be essential to sustaining life. Despite the essential nature of water, in California, water management is so broken that every attempt to improve water management ends up in court. You would think that after more than 100 years of litigation, we would find a better – more lasting – approach to manage water for the world’s fifth largest economy and most productive agricultural region. Unfortunately, this is how we have conditioned ourselves to manage water in California – litigate first, litigate last, litigate always. While the judicial system is critical to the success of our form of government, we cannot continue to rely on the courts to manage our water – yet, we continue to do so. (more)

106 Years of Water Supply Reliability

From California WaterBlog- Water supply reliability is a major policy and management goal in California, and in the rest of the world, today and since the beginning of time.  The goals of reliable water supplies have grown from supporting human health, to supporting economic prosperity, to supporting healthy ecosystems, even when these goals conflict. Since ancient times, water supply planning, engineering, and operations have sought to provide reliable water supplies.  But until 106 years ago, there was little sophistication on exactly how reliable a water supply would be or should be. Today, water uses have grown and diversified, and sometimes conflict when water availability is insufficient for all uses.  Water availability will always be limited, despite infrastructure investments, and often will diminish or become more expensive with climate change and evolving environmental and public health standards. (more)


Picture: Allen Hazen 1911


Sacramento leaders hand Congress $11 billion construction wish list. Here’s What’s on it.

From The Sacramento BEE Glimpsing a silver lining in the coronavirus cloud, Sacramento leaders on Monday handed their Congressional representatives an $11 billion list of ready-to-build infrastructure projects for potential federal funding that would help modernize the region and add thousands of jobs for residents hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The Trump administration and Congress have indicated they may be willing to make good on long-stalled promises to inject trillions of dollars nationally into building roads, rails, water treatment, flood control, improved emergency preparedness, affordable housing and high-speed internet, among other infrastructure. (more).

CVFPB June 26th Board Meeting Informational Briefings:

2022 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan Update

DWR staff will provide an overview of flood risk analyses associated with the CVFPP and proposed update of the flood risk analyses for the 2022 CVFPP Update. (Mary Jimenez, Acting Chief, Systemwide Multi-Benefit Initiatives Branch, Department of Water Resources; Steve Cowdin, Department of Water Resources)

Small Community Flood Risk Reduction Program

DWR staff will provide an update on the Small Community Flood Risk Reduction Program. DWR will be providing approximately $28M of Prop 1E funds to protect over 7,000 residents living in three different small communities influenced by State Plan of Flood Control facilities. This program was initiated by the 2012 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan. In addition to helping to protect these residents from future flooding. (Michael Mierzwa, State Floodplain Manager, Division of Flood Management, Department of Water Resources)  (see Agenda for the Board Meeting)