• Erosion of Oroville Emergency Spillway Prompts Evacuation - On Tuesday, February 7th, a large sinkhole in the spillway for Oroville Reservoir crumbled under the forces of flood control releases, resulting in a large portion of the cement canal washing away. Despite resuming releases after short shutdown to evaluate the hole, DWR had to resume releases through the damaged spillway to manage inflows peaking at 190,000 cfs, but the lake level still ended up cresting over the emergency spillway for the first time in its history on Sunday, February 12th. With no cement channel below the emergency spillway, water started creating severe erosion at the base of the spillway. Concerned about potential collapse of the emergency spillway wall, DWR announced immediate threat of failure around 4:30 pm on Sunday and County officials ordered evacuation of communities below Oroville Dam including the cities of Oroville, Marysville, and Yuba.  Evacuated residents received a welcomed Valentine's Day present when they received the OK to return home after DWR implemented measures to reduce water levels in the lake, and stabilize the emergency spillway and reduce further erosion.  As DWR works on clearing 1.7 million cubic yards of debris below the dam so that the Hyatt Power Plan can be restarted, a timeline of the damaged spillway, overtopping of the emergency spillway, erosion repairs, and other activities are captured in photos.
  • Governor Declares State of Emergency - Due to damage caused by severe winter storms, on January 23, 2017 Governor Brown issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency in 50 counties and directing CalOES to coordinate emergency response assistance to local agencies. He followed that up with additional emergency proclamation invoking his police powers to allow all state agencies to offer aid including activating the National Guard and requested President Trump to issue a Disaster Declaration for California.
  • County Issues Evacuation Order in Delta -  Michigan Bar crested two feet above flood stage on February 9th causing overtopping of levees and flooding of areas in Wilton.  On Monday, February 13th, Sacramento County ordered evacuation of Tyler Island due to potential flooding from compromised levee and strongly encouraged residents in Pt. Pleasant/Grlanville Tract to leave the area for their safety due to rising waters that may spill over on roadways and cutting off transportation routes. Although Tyler Island levee situation does not present immediate threat of flooding to the town of Walnut Grove, the county does encourage residents in eastern portion of Walnut Grove to take appropriate actions to protect life and property.  Evacuation center is open at Pleasant Grove High School, 9531, Bond Rd., Elk Grove.
  • Flood Operations Coordination - The State-Federal Flood Operations Center is responsible for coordination of latest flood conditions information and tracking emergency response activities.
  • Video of Sacramento and Delta Flood Conditions - DWR video shows flood conditions at Folsom Dam and throughout the Sacramento region and Delta.
  • Video of Opening Sacramento Weir - Designed to only be operated once the Sacramento River reaches 29.87 feet at I Street Bridge in downtown Sacramento, for the first time since 2006 flood event, DWR released video from early January of their staff opening the weir by manually pulling wooden planks.  Once the river subsided, DWR began the process of closing the weir on January 23, 2017.
  • Federal Emergency Assistance - CalOES report describes process for declaring flood emergencies as local, state, and federal level.  USACE is federal agency with jurisdiction to provide emergency levee repair assistance under PL 84-99 for SPFC project levees only, leaving FEMA with jurisdiction to provide emergency aid for counties and non-project levees through their Public Assistance Program.  A 1999 MOU between DWR/USACE describes how response to flood emergencies will be coordinated for floodfighting and repair of eligible project levees that are "Active" status in PL 84-99 Program. During a flood emergency, the Director of DWR serves as the official liaison with USACE.  FEMA assistance can only be provided for counties and non-project levees once Presidential Disaster Declaration is issued per the request of the Governor.  Levee repair in the Delta under FEMA's Public Assistance Program was previously conditioned on non-project levees meeting Bulletin 192-82 criteria described in MOU with CalOES, but FEMA notified State that MOU expired on December 8, 2012, so levee repair assistance in the Delta is currently uncertain.
  • CCVFCA Requests Clarification of FEMA Eligibility - Due to repetitive overtopping of levees in the Delta during the 1980s, FEMA established Bulletin 192-82 levee criteria in a MOU with CalOES as a condition for the Delta's non-project levees to remain eligible for repair.  However, FEMA but notified State that MOU expired in 2013, leaving uncertainty for the future.  RDs submitting claims to FEMA for recent levee damage from heavy rains and high winds causing slippage, sink holes, and overtopping will have to cross their fingers and hope their claims are not denied by FEMA.  CCVFCA sent a letter to CalOES asking for clarification regarding FEMA eligibility for repair of Delta non-project levees damaged in this year's flood season.


  • Flood For​um Focuses on Funding OMRR&R of Flood Control Facilities - At the CCVFCA annual Flood Forum on March 15, 2017, a panel of speakers provided State and local perspectives on the potential federal, state, and local funding sources and financing mechanisms being considered in long-term investment strategies for the operation, maintenance, repair, replacement, and rehabilitation of the levee and bypass systems in the Delta and State Plan of Flood Control. Mary Jimenez, DWR Flood Planning Branch Chief gave a presentation on the new fees and State Flood Insurance Program proposed in the investment strategy of the 2017 update of the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (CVFPP) and Delta Protection Commission (DPC) Executive Director Erik Vink talked about funding mechanisms for Delta levees being evaluated in a feasibility study.  Seth Wurzel with Larsen Wurzel & Associates gave a presentation on local fiscal considerations that led into urban and rural perspectives on State liability and responsibility provided by SAFCA Director of Planning Tim Washburn and ability to pay by RD 563 (Tyler Island) trustee Steve Mello.
  • Flood Protection Fees Proposed by DWR & DPC - DWR and the Delta Protection Commission have independently proposed new property and user fees to fund long term maintenance of Delta and SPFC levees in the 2017 Draft Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (2017 CVFPP) and the Delta Flood Risk Management Assessment District Feasibility Study (DPC Study) and appendices.
  • Final Draft Delta Levee Funding Report Released - After releasing a draft Findings and Recommendation chapter in October, the Delta Protection Commission (DPC) has now released a full 97-page copy of the draft "Final Report for the Delta Flood Risk Management Assessment District Feasibility Study" proposing a new beneficiary pay funding approach to replace the current cost share allocation in the Delta Levee Maintenance Subventions Program.  There is also a new 150-pages of Appendices released with the Final Report.  The draft report also recommends establishment of three new fee/assessment mechanisms to collect funding from beneficiaries not paying in proportion to the benefits they receive from levees.  The first review and discussion of this draft Final Report will occur at DPC Subcommittee on December 8th with written comments due by January 4, 2017 so that the Commissioners can consider approving report at its meeting on January 19, 2017 in West Sacramento.
  • DWR Discusses Elements of 2017 Update of CVFPP - At recent Coordinating Committee meetings, DWR has presented elements of the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan that are being updated:  flood management policy recommendations, advisory committee recommendations on the Conservation Strategy; and financing elements including an investment strategy, funding mechanisms and amounts, and list of projects and operations to be funded.
  • DWR Discusses Sacramento Bypass Setback Levee Project - At the November Coordinating Committee, DWR described the flood reduction and habitat benefits of Lower Elk Horn project proposing to set back the northern levee on the Sacramento Bypass and the adjacent levee on east side of the Yolo Bypass.
  • CCVFCA Requests Clarification of Delta Eligibility for FEMA Disaster Assistance - Due to repetitive levee failures in the Delta during the 1980s, FEMA established levee criteria in a MOU with CalOES in order for the Delta to remain eligible for reimbursement for levee damage or failures under their Public Assistance Program.  The State failed to achieve criteria in the last 30 hears, so FEMA terminated the MOU as of December 8, 2012, leaving uncertainty on whether the non-project levees in the Delta are no longer eligible for disaster assistance. To confirm the eligibility status of these levees, CCVFCA formally requested the State to obtain a definitive answer from FEMA.  We advise our Delta members once FEMA responds. 
  • DSC Recommends Changing Eligibility for Delta Levee Funding - The draft Delta Levee Investment Strategy, presented by DSC staff the last week of August contains proposed amendments to Delta Plan flood protection chapter, recommendation for legislation to revise Delta Levee Subvention statutes, and a prioritized list of Delta levees to receive state funding. DSC's schedule includes public workshops in October, adoption of final Plan amendments and levee funding priorities in December with report delivered to Legislature. In 2015, the CVFPB approved Guidance Principles defining the flood board's expectations for coordinating with DSC on any Delta Plan related to flood control levees, programs, and activities under their jurisdiction. However, at the joint meeting of CVFPB and DSC on August 12, 2016, the Council did not disclose they had draft Delta Plan amendments their staff would be presenting to them on August 25, 2016.​ 
  • Habitat Project to Breach Prospect Island Levees - DWR announces release of draft Prospect Island EIR for tidal restoration project proposing  breach of levees and channel excavation to increase tidal prism for Delta smelt habitat and a September 27, 2016 public meeting from 7:00-9:00 PM in Suisun City.  Deadline to submit written comments is October 7, 2016.
  • Flood Board Weighs in on DLIS - Central Valley Flood Protection Board (CVFPB) and Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) having joint meeting on Aug. 12th to discuss how CVFPB's guidance has been incorporated into the DSC's Delta Levee Investment Strategy (DLIS) which is scheduled to release a draft strategy later this month and send recommendations to the Legislature on funding and proposed legislation in December.  DSC also asking people to weigh in on Delta priorities by responding to a survey.
  • OMRR& R Tech Memo - DWR released a tech memo (May 2016) on Flood System Long-Term Operations, Maintenance, Repair, Rehabilitation, and Replacement (OMRR&R) to help managers estimate resource needs and understand the fiscal challenges for funding these activities for the SPFC system.  Notes from a May 27, 2016 Agricultural Stakeholder meeting are also available.
  • New Dredge & Infill Discharge Procedures - The SWRCB is currently developing new procedures for the discharge of dredge and infill materials intended to create statewide definition and regulation of wetlands, and other waters of the State.  Two public workshops will be held to receive public input before the August 4, 2016 deadline to submit comments.
  • Annual WRDA Proposals - ​The USACE published in the Federal Register the deadline for non-federal sponsors to submit annual proposals for potential feasibility studies and modifications to federal flood control project (State Plan of Flood Control) is September, 19, 2016.  Projects that are accepted will be included in the USACE's annual report to Congress of future water resources development.
  • CVFPP Investment Strategy - An update of the Investment Strategy to be incorporated into the 2017 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan was provided at the June 22nd Coordinating Committee.
  • Delta Plan Declared Invalid -  Judge's June 24th clarification ruling declares the entire Delta Plan approved by the Delta Stewardship Council in 2013, and associated EIR, are invalid and must be shelved until revisions are made in accordance with Delta Reform Act statutes to include quantifiable (numeric) targets for certain components, such as reducing reliance on the Delta.  DSC's initial declaration of victory in May was therefore premature, and Restore the Delta's claim that original May 2016 court ruling was a "bullet to the heart" was more accurate.  Now DSC must go back to the drawing board to re-draft the plan and EIR.
  • FSRP Program Update - DWR staff provided an update on the Flood System Repair Project (FSRP) program at the Coordinating Committee in May.  While many projects have been identified, and some even completed, bond funds are gone, so remaining projects will be prioritized based on critical need.
  • CVFPB Receives Emergency Response Briefing - At their March 25th meeting, the flood board heard presentations from state and local representatives on activities funded by the Emergency Response Grant Program, including updates on the Delta Communications and Emergency Response Grants.
  • Optimizing Reservoir Operating Rules - The S.F. Estuary and Watershed Science Journal has article describing a joint optimization-simulation approach to develop a preliminary economically-based operating rules for major reservoirs in California's Sacramento Valley.
  • FEMA Disaster Deductible - DWR and CA State Association of Counties (CSAC) submit comments to FEMA on their conceptual proposal to require state and local government agencies to pay a deductible before receiving federal disaster assistance.
  • Flood Funding Fact Sheet - A recent PPIC flood funding fact sheet asserts that flood risk is growing in the Central Valley, but funding for flood management is not. The Public Policy Institute of California claims that at a minimum the state needs to spend $34 billion to upgrade levee infrastructure over the next 25 years -- $1.4 billion per year -- roughly twice the current level of flood management expenditures.
  • Searchable Online National Levee Database - Ever wonder which Central Valley project levees are ineligible for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) PL 84-99 funding (RIP)?  Ever wonder when the last Periodic Inspection report was done on a USACE project levee and what the results were?  Ever wonder what the official name of a particular levee segment is?  All this and more has been entered into the National Levee Database (NLD) developed by the USACE that allows numerous ways to search including finding reports on levees located within your state, zip code, or address.  Authorized by Congress in 2007, the database contains information to link activities, such as flood risk communication, levee system evaluation for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), levee system inspections, flood plain management, and risk assessments.  
  • DWR Launches New Grant Program for Small Communities - DWR has announced that $50 million in Prop. 1E funding is available for the repair and reconstruction of State Plan of Flood Control (SPFC) levees in non-urban areas through the new Small Communities Flood Risk Reduction (SCFRR) grant program.  Eligible applicants are limited to cities and counties with land use authority for small communities (less than 10,000 residents) that are protected by the SPFC.  The initial round of funding will only focus on feasibility studies to support the identification of a preferred alternative, which can include non-structural projects such as water proofing and raising structures out of the floodplains.  The cost share for the project design and implementation Phase II will be competitively allocated based on the outcome of the feasibility studies and remaining available funding.  CCVFCA's comment letter expresses support and appreciation for the new grant program for small communities that do not have the financial resources to solely lead an effort to implement projects to reduce flood risk, moderated by the Association’s concern about indemnity language in the applications and the expediency in which DWR can issue grant funding to applicants based upon 18-month delays recently experienced in another flood protection grant program. ​​

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  • Governor Promotes Budget Actions to Fund Levee Repairs - As a follow-up to two Emergency Proclamations in January and February due to storm damage across the state, at a press conference on Friday, February 24, 2017 Governor Brown announced actions his Administration would be taking to secure funding for emergency levee repairs and dam safety. Governor released a 4-point plan that includes investing $437 million in near-term flood control and emergency response actions to supplement prior investments and sent a letter to Chairs of the Legislative Budget Committees notifying them that he is using his emergency powers to redirect existing appropriations and requesting a $387.1 million appropriation from Prop. 1 to implement flood control projects, including emergency levee repairs in the Central Valley and Delta.  Administration also released a document with more details about the allocation of the funding.
  • Legislators Form Delta Caucus - Senator Bill Dodd and Assemblyman Jim Frazier announced the formation of a legislative Delta Caucus to provide a collaborative venue for keeping the Delta delegation updated, briefed, and educated on the important policy issues affecting their region.
  • Governor Vetoes SB 554 (Wolk) - Theveto message cited DSC's prioritization of which islands should receive State funding and identification of mechanisms for non-landowner pay for benefits they receive from Delta levees as the reason for denying a two-year extension to 2020 of the current 75/25% state/local cost-share for the Delta Levee Maintenance Subventions Program.
  • ​​DWR Asks Congress for Changes in Flood Funding - DWR sent a support letter on the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill to Congress, with requests for changes in the way the USACE is funded to manage flood risks.​​

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Melinda Terry, Executive Director




March 31            Deadline to comment on 2017 Draft CVFPP and Supplemental EIR