Questions asked of Nicholas Pinter, UC Davis flood and watershed expert and member of the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). California is doing a lot of things right, and is learning from its past mistakes. A lot of money has been invested in improving levees. California is enforcing NFIP standards and trying to limit new construction on its floodplains (though with exceptions). But the Oroville crisis was a big wake-up call. If the emergency spillway had failed—and we were within hours of it—Oroville could have been a lethal disaster similar to Katrina. All eyes are now on aging dams as well as levees. (Read more…)