FLOOD CONTROL PROJECTS


  • DWR Awards $50 Million Towards Reducing Statewide Flood Risk - DWR announced $50.4 million is being awarded statewide to 18 flood risk reduction projects related to stormwater, flooding, mudslides, and flash flooding.  The Proposition 68 funding, distributed through the Floodplain Management, Protection, and Risk Awareness Grant Program (FMPRA) for disadvantaged community assistance, multi-benefit project features, and flood risk reduction projects in FEMA special hazard areas to protect vulnerable communities, citizens, property, and infrastructure from damaging flood waters. Projects in the Central Valley include $9.7 million to the Three Rivers Levee Improvement Authority (TRLIA) for efforts to achieve urban 200-year level of flood protection and $9.3 million to the Sacramento River West Side Levee District to mitigate levee seepage, reduce local erosion, and improve aquatic habitat.  In addition, the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency (SBFCA) will receive $1.1 million to restore fisheries habitat, reduce flood stages, and increase conveyance of flood waters and transitory storage within the Feather River.
  • Corps Highlights Progress in Reducing Flood Risk in Sacramento Region - In recognition of CA Flood Preparedness Week October 22-29, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced flood risk reduction progress in the Sacramento region.  The  $1.8 billion American River Common Features 2016 project is wrapping up its fourth year of levee improvements along the Sacramento River east side in the Pocket/Greenhaven neighborhood.  The fifth and final year of work will commence in 2023 with expansion of the Sacramento Weir to double its current size and five sites totaling approximately 2.8 miles of levee work.  Other activities included armoring levees with rock to protect against erosion.
  • District Completes 2017 Levee Storm Damage Repairs - The Sacramento River West Side Levee District announced that levee repairs on four sites that were damaged in early 2017 storm events have been completed. The repairs, costing $31 million, were fully funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under its PL 84-99 levee rehabilitation program. Construction included installation of approximately 3,800 feet of landside seepage berms and a new 2,000-foot setback levee that addresses seepage and reconnects a portion of the historical floodplain to the river with opportunities for ecosystem restoration.



LATEST NEWS



  • 2022 Update of CVFPP Approved - At its December meeting, the Central Valley Flood Protection Board approved the 2022 Update of the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan.  A roadmap for flood management in the Central Valley, the 2022 Update identifies $3 billion in needed investments over the next five years to reduce climate-driven, extreme flood events by improving aging infrastructure and implementing new tools.  
  • New Waters of the U.S. Rule - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provided an update on several regulatory efforts.  At the end of December, the Biden Administration announced the repeal of a Trump-era rule on the definition of Waters of the U.S. and replaced it with a new regulation.  The new rule will be similar to the pre-2015 regulation and become effective in 60 days.  In early 2023, the Corps expects to be conforming with a new Section 401 of the Clean Water Act issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • CCVFCA Hosts Flood Forum and Tour - The Association hosted a 2022 Flood Forum and luncheon on October 19th with Dr. Todd Bridges, Senior Research Scientist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters, as the keynote speaker and a panel of state and local representatives discussing their experience and perspectives on engineering with nature-based solutions. The following day included a tour that covered discussions at four locations:  Sacramento Weir; Little Egbert Tract; Mossdale Tract setback levee; and Paradise Cut Weir.  
  • DWR Hosts Symposium on Preparing for Flood - As a lead into California Flood Preparedness Week, October 22-29, DWR hosted a Symposium on October 17 to highlight the need to prepare for flooding even during a drought.  Expanding upon Governor Newsom’s “Water Supply Strategy for a Hotter, Drier Future”, DWR convened water policy experts, scientists and representatives of communities impacted by floods and drought for a conversation about building climate resiliency. The event was kicked-off by two keynote speakers: Dr. F. Martin Ralph, Director, Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes; and Dr. Daniel Swain, Climate Scientist, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UCLA.  Then three panels followed, including the last one with Chris Elias, Executive Director, San Joaquin Area Flood Control Agency (SJAFCA).  A full recording of the presentations and panel discussions is available on DWR’s YouTube page.
  • Less Federal Damage Funding Flowing to California - California received less federal disaster assistance on a per-capita basis than most peer states, but also found that this imbalance is particularly pronounced for flood-related events.
  • New Climate Resiliency Team Announced - DWR formed a new executive team on building water management resiliency that will report directly to Director Karla Nemeth, to guide integrated decision-making across all DWR divisions.
  • Flood Risks Under Climate Change - California is in its third year of a historic drought but climate change also brings the risk of more intense and severe storms that could cause catastrophic flooding. Climate scientist Daniel Swain joins host Cecilia Lei to share findings from a new research study he co-authored, which details how a worse case scenario flood event could devastate the California. Listen Here
  • Retrospective Look at the ’97 Flood - KCRA3 released a Special Report with an 18-minute video looking back at the 1997 Pineapple Express flood event that caused extensive flooding in the Sacramento Valley.  It includes news footage of breached levees, open water areas that looked like lakes, and people on rooftops waiting to be rescued. The Special Report also has interviews with DWR staff.  The Modesto Bee also reflected on the flooding in Modesto in 1997, and contemplated whether it could happen again this year.

Check out current CCVFCA members and consider joining the Association.

CALIFORNIA CENTRAL VALLEY

FLOOD CONTROL ASSOCIATION

Learn more about legislative, legal, and regulatory flood control issues.

Resources and information for flood managers, elected officials, and those living in Central Valley floodplains.



Together in the flood fight -- since 1926.

3050 Beacon Blvd., Suite 203

West Sacramento, CA, 95691

(916) 446-0197

Melinda Terry, Executive Director

CALENDAR ALERTS


​​Feb 8 – Delta Restoration Forum, 1450 Halyard Dr, West Sacramento, 3:00-6:00 pm
Feb 14 – Deadline to submit comments on Draft EIS for Delta Conveyance Project



FLOOD WATCH

  • ​​Flood Emergency Declaration - In anticipation of a series of storms expected to pound the west coast of California, Governor Newsom proclaims a state of emergency to facilitate the emergency response and mobilize state resources that will be required.  In addition to the mobilization of the National Guard, the Governor activated the State Operations Center to its highest level and mobilized the Flood Operations Center, which covers forecasting, reservoir operations coordination, and provides flood fighting materials for local agencies.  On January 8, 2023 the Newsom Administration also scheduled a media briefing on statewide efforts to address storm impacts and submitted a request for a Presidential Emergency Declaration to support ongoing storm response and recovery efforts.
  • Storm Damage Exposed - At the January 2023 Central Valley Flood Protection Board, Ric Reinhardt (MBK Engineers) provided a presentation on levee damage CCVFCA member agencies experienced during the recent series of atmospheric river storm events that started at the end of December.



​​​​​LEGISLATIVE ISSUES



  • ​Assembly Previews State Budget Blueprint - The chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, Phil Ting, released a blueprint for the fiscal year 2023-24 entitled “Serving California: Making Government Work” which includes a climate package proposing to spend $54 billion over six years.  Chair Ting suggests expediting key infrastructure investments that are “ready to go.” According to the independent Legislative Analyst’s Office, the State Legislature will have to deal with a projected $24 billion deficit once the Governor releases his proposed State Budget in early January.
  • Funding Bills Move Forward in Congress - Before adjourning for the Christmas holidays, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Water Resourced Development Act (WRDA) of 2022 when it was inserted into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  The biennial WRDA legislation provides funding to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to strengthen flood protection, and improve water resource infrastructure and healthy ecosystems.  Funding in the bill includes several projects promoted by Congressman Garamendi such as $50 million for Delta resiliency.    In addition, Congressman Garamendi joined with Congressman Mike Thompson to secure authorization in NDAA for the construction of the Lower Cache Creek Flood Risk Reduction Project to protect communities in Woodland.  This legislation was subsequently approved by the U.S. Senate and signed into law by President Joe Biden.
  • Approved WRDA Legislation Includes Policy Changes - In addition to funding flood protection projects and feasibility studies across the nation, the recently approved Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) legislation also makes policy changes.  Scheduled to expire at the end of FY 2023, the legislation extends the National Levee Safety Program through FY 2028 and increased the maximum amount of federal funds available from the Levee Rehabilitation Assistance Program from $10 million to $25 million.  The WRDA bill also directs the USACE to prioritize this assistance funding to “economically disadvantaged communities” and expands the definition of levee rehabilitation to include increasing the “resiliency to extreme weather events.” 
  • Governor Signs Legislation to Revise Brown Act Open Meetings Laws - AB 2449 (Rubio), will allow until January 1, 2026 a local agency to use teleconferencing without identifying on the agenda each remote location accessible to the public, if a quorum of the government body is in-person at a publicly accessible location within the local agency’s jurisdiction that is clearly identified on the agenda. AB 2647 (Levine), seeks to clarify that writings distributed to the majority of a local legislative body less than 72 hours before a meeting can be posted online to satisfy the Brown Act requirement if physical copies are made available for public inspection at the beginning of the next regular business hours at a public office or designated location.  SB 1100 (Cortese), authorizes the presiding member of a local legislative body conducting a meeting, or their designee, to remove an individual for disrupting the meeting, and defines “disrupting” for these purposes.
  • Governor Approves Advancing State Funds for Flood Management Project - Governor Newsom signed legislation authored by Senator John Laird, SB 489, to advance state funding to the Pajaro River Flood Risk Management Project in Santa Cruz County due to the economically disadvantaged communities with low property values.
  • Joint Powers Authorized for Climate Change - Governor Newsom signed SB 852 (Dodd), allowing cities, counties, and special districts to establish climate resilience financing districts to undertake projects and programs to address sea level rise, wildfire, drought, flooding, and other related impacts. The districts will be authorized to raise revenues through voter approved property taxes, special benefit assessments, or fees.
  • Delta Week Declared by Legislature - SCR 119 (Dodd) was approved by the State Legislature to annually declare the last week of September as Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Week.



DELTA ISSUES


  • ​Nature-Based Grant Funding Available - The CA Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the availability of $20 million from Prop. 1 and Prop. 68 dedicated for Delta drought resiliency, climate impacts, and nature-based solutions.  Levee reconstruction and maintenance projects are eligible for funding when actions are necessary to achieve significant habitat restoration benefits.  Interested applicants are encouraged to consult with CDFW prior to submitting.  This is first come, first served, while funding lasts.  The Delta Conservancy also received $36 million from the State Budget for projects that support nature-based solutions in the Delta.  Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:  wetland restoration, conversion to rice cultivation, Voluntary Carbon Market, and land acquisition or easements.  An additional $6 million is available for recreation, biodiversity, and resiliency to drought and floods.
  • Delta Drought Barrier Removed - As scheduled, DWR completed removal of the West False River Emergency Drought Salinity Barrier at the end of November.  DWR water managers will continue to monitor conditions through the winter to determine whether and when the barrier might be needed again.  DWR is also pursuing long-term drought solutions by developing an Environmental Impact Report in early 2023 to allow the installation of the False River Barrier twice during a 10-year period.
  • Water Quality Certification Requested for North Delta Drought Barriers - The State Water Resources Control Board posted a Public Notice for an application from DWR for a Clean Water Act 401 water quality certification for the North Delta Drought Salinity Barriers Project. Each barrier structure includes an embankment rock structure and manually operated fish passage culvert, with a boat ramp at the Steamboat Slough site.  The SWRCB can take action 21 days after the Notice was released on December 16, 2022, which does not leave much time to comment due to the holidays and release on same day Delta Conveyance Project comments were due.
  • Delta Counties Provide Public Forum - Frustrated that DWR failed to hold in-person public meetings on the Draft EIR for the Delta tunnel project, the Delta Counties Coalition and Legislative Delta Caucus co-hosted a public meeting in Hood on December 6, 2022 to provide Delta residents the opportunity to provide comments on the adequacy of the environmental analysis and mitigation measures.  More than 100 residents attended.  A transcript of the public comments will be provided to the Department of Water Resources prior to the formal comment deadline of December 16th.  On December 7th the Trinity County Board of Supervisors voted to oppose the Delta Conveyance Project and officially endorsed the letter opposing the tunnel that was adopted by the Trinity County Fish and Game Advisory Commission.
  • USACE Releases EIS on Delta Tunnel Project - In mid-December, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a Notice announcing the release of the federal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Delta Conveyance Project for public review and comment.  The proposed action would require permission/authorization from the Corps to alter the Federal Project (levees) under Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (Section 408) (33 U.S.C. 408), to place structures and conduct work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 U.S.C. 403), and to discharge fill material into waters of the United States under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344).  Three public meetings will be held virtually on January 10, 12, and 18th.  The deadline to submit written comments on the proposed project is February 14, 2022.
  • Amendments to DSC Certification Appeals Process Adopted - At its October 27, 2022 meeting, the Delta Stewardship Council adopted amendments through a resolution to the appeals process for covered action certifications of consistency.  The amendments are mostly technical changes to improve wording, but the Delta Protection Commission submitted a comment expressing concern that the amendments will restrict their statutory authority to submit comments and recommendation on any significant project that may affect the unique values of the Delta.
  • Comment Period for DCP Draft EIR Extended -   DWR released a Draft EIR for the Delta Conveyance Project (DCP) at the end of July.  On September 20th, DWR released a Change Sheet for the DCP Draft EIR.  Subsequently, on September 23rd, DWR announced extension of the public comment period to December 16, 2022.
  • Comment Period Extended for DLIS Rulemaking - The Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) announced the extension of the public comment deadline to November 16th and the rescheduling of the public hearing to November 17, 2022 for the amended Delta Levee Investment Strategy (DLIS) rulemaking.
  • Delta Levee Special Projects Funding Opportunity Announced - For the first time in a few years, DWR has released for public review and comment a Project Solicitation Package (PSP) for the Delta Levees Special Projects Program.  Three workshops are scheduled on October 7, 14, and 20th.  The new deadline to submit written comments is 5:00 p.m. on November 4, 2022. 
  • Update on Yolo Bypass Modification Project - DWR provided an update to the CA Water Commission in January 2022 on construction starting in May on the Yolo Bypass Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Fish Passage Project ("Big Notch"), with the real estate acquisition process continuing through 2023. The preferred alternative sets the peak flow at 6,000 cfs and reduced to 1,000 to 300 cfs after March 15th.  The infrastructure will include a lowered intake channel to the Sacramento River with a three-gate headwork structure. The inundation of a portion of the Yolo Bypass will occur more frequently and duration will last two weeks longer.