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



  • 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.
  • Update of the CVFPP Conservation Plan Released As part of the 2022 update of the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (CVFPP), the Conservation Plan is also being updated and has been released for public review and comment. The update includes targets to improve habitats in the flood system and guidance for developing multi-benefit flood infrastructure improvement projects. The deadline to comment is February 10, 2022 by filling out form on the flood board’s website.
  • U.S. EPA Issues Q&A on Section 401 Court Ruling - On October 21, 2021 a U.S. District Court remanded with vacatur the 2020 Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule adopted during the Trump Administration. In response, on December 17, 2021 EPA released a Q&A document to clarify which regulations now govern the Section 401 certification process and when a new rule will be proposed by EPA.
  • Appeals Filed on Lookout Slough Habitat Project - Four appeals of the certification of consistency with the Delta Plan for the Lookout Slough Tidal Habitat Restoration and Flood Improvement Project were filed with the Delta Stewardship Council on March 24, 2021 by Reclamation Districts 2060 and 2068, Solano County Water Agency, Central Delta Water Agency, and Liberty Island Access.  The Council is required to schedule an appeal hearing withing 60 days.
  • DWR Proposes Delta Community Benefits Program - To address the significant social and economic impacts anticipated from the large water supply infrastructure facilities proposed by DWR, the department is developing a Community Benefits Program as art of its Delta Conveyance Project.  The intent is to acknowledge the adverse impacts from DCP construction activities and identify local projects to benefit the affected communities beyond the mitigation measures required under CEQA.  Three public workshops have been scheduled on April 14, May 6, and May 25th to receive input and ideas for projects (REGISTATION REQUIRED).
  • More Frequent and Severe Atmospheric Rivers Equal Increased Damage and Costs - An article summarizes research conducted using a catalog of atmospheric river events compiled by Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes that were matched to over 40 years of flood insurance records and 20 years of National Weather Service damage estimates.  Their research warns that atmospheric rivers are projected to grow longer, wider, and wetter in a warming climate. 
  • Board Update of Title 23 Regulations - A multi-year effort to update the CVFPB's Title 23 regulations is nearing final approval and implementation. In November the Board submitted a rulemaking package to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for review. The Board held a public workshop on February 12, 2021 to discuss the changes in definitions and technical standards. A final regulatory package will be presented to the Board for their approval at either its February 26 or March meeting, with implementation to follow. 
  • Delta Climate Resilience Report - The Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) released a draft report, Delta Adapts for public comment that will ultimately guide the adoption of new climate policies in the Delta Plan, including development of a revised Delta Levee Investment Strategy (DLIS).
  • Flood Board Approves Early 408 Review of Delta Conveyance Project - At the request of DWR, the CVFPB scheduled approval of a Statement of No Objection letter for the Delta Conveyance Project on its March consent calendar.  Approval of this letter would initiate early 408 review by the USACE on the SWP export tunnel project.  Early coordination with the USACE on large, complex, and significant alterations to the SPFC is preferable to ensure alterations of the federally authorized Civil Works are not injurious to the public interest or impair the usefulness of the federally-authorized project.  However, many Delta stakeholders, including CCVFCA, raised concerns that it was too early to start review of a project still at a 10% conceptual level of design after 14 years of planning and without an EIR available for public review.   The flood board ended up pulling the item from consent; and after public discussion decided to delay action until a later date.  CCVFCA and other stakeholders submitted additional letters when the flood board scheduled the matter for reconsideration at its May meeting.  After first receiving presentations related to questions raised in stakeholder letters, the board approved a new draft of a Statement of No Objection letter, but committed to provide regular updates on the 408 process at its public meetings.
  • Early 408 Review of Fremont Weir "Big Notch" Approved by CVFPB - At its May meeting, the flood board also approved a Statement of No Objection letter to allow early 408 review by USACE of a DWR project to notch the Fremont Weir and install an operable diversion gate to allow more frequent inundation of the Yolo Bypass to create food production for juvenile salmon.
  • 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.  

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


Nov 2 – USACE virtual scoping mtg, American River Common Features Project EIR, 5 pm
Nov 3 – DPC Delta Heritage Forum, Jean Harvie Comm. Ctr., Walnut Grove, 12-8 pm
Nov 3 – Cache Slough Recreation Action Plan workshop, 610 St. Francis Way, Rio Vista, 6pm

Nov 4 – Deadline to comment on Delta Levee Special Projects PSP, 5 pm

Nov 4 – CVFPB release final 2022 CVFPP Update for public review
Nov 16 – Deadline to submit written comments on revised Delta Levee Investment Strategy

Nov 16-17 – CalOES 2-day Hazard Mitigation Summit, 1401 K St, Sacramento
Nov 17 – DSC hearing on Delta Levee Investment Strategy (DLIS)
Nov 18 – Adoption of 2022 Update of CVFPP by the CVFPB

Dec 5-6 – FMA grant writing course for HMGP & BRIC, Henderson, NV
Dec 6-8 – FMA Hydrologic Modeling Course, Las Vegas, NV

Dec 16 - Deadline to comment on Delta Conveyance Project Draft EIR









​​​​LEGISLATIVE ISSUES



  • 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.
  • Retiring Legislators - A respected voice for rural communities and flood protection issues is retiring after serving decades in the State Legislature.  In the State Legislature in both the 20th and 21st Centuries, Senator Jim Nielsen is retiring and California will lose his extensive experience on budget, water policy, public safety, and flood protection.  At the federal level, Jerry McNerney, is retiring after 16 years representing part of the Delta.  Redistricting, political polarization, and other factors led to his decision.  He laments not making more progress on addressing water policy issues and provides sage advice to the next generation of lawmakers.
  • Governor Releases FY 2022-23 State Budget - Like last year, the proposed budget focuses on investing in climate resiliency with a $5.2 billion expenditure. An additional $750 million investment is also proposed for water conservation, drought relief, protection of fish and wildlife, and groundwater sustainability. The Governor proposes tackling five issues in his new budget, which he calls The California Blueprint with a fact sheet on addressing the climate crisis. The Legislative Analyst Office also released a report providing an overview of the Governor’s proposed FY 2022-23 State Budget.
  • Congress Appropriates Infrastructure Funding - On November 5, 2021, Congress approved a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill in a bipartisan vote.  This scaled back bill, necessary to secure the 50 votes needed in the U.S. Senate, included reductions in funding to FEMA for improving flood maps and for providing subsidies to low-income for NFIP flood insurance. Governor Newsom released a statement identifying how much the State expects to receive.  The USACE will also receive funding to conduct 100 feasibility studies nationwide.
  • Local Congressman Appointed to Key Resource and Infrastructure Subcommittee - U.S. Representative John Garamendi (D-Davis) was selected by his colleagues to serve on four key subcommittees that deal with helping communities be more resilient to natural disasters, including the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee which deals with water development, infrastructure, and conservation.
  • California Senator to Chair Key Appropriations Committee - Senator Dianne Feinstein announced she is the new chair of the Senate Appropriations  Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development with jurisdiction over funding levees for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation and other federal agencies.



DELTA ISSUES


  • 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.
  • Delta Conveyance Project Webinars - DWR held a series of webinars to provide background information on the preparation of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Delta Conveyance Project to expand water export water facilities. The webinars covered operations of the SWP and new DCP facilities, environmental justice, and climate change.  
  • Nutria Eradication Program Makes Progress - The Department of Fish and Wildlife provided an update on the progress of the Nutria Eradication Program. Since March 2018, the efforts to eradicate this invasive species includes assessing over 1.5 million acres, executed entry permits with 4,000 landowners, set up over 5,000 camera stations, confirmed nutria in over 500 locations, deployed over 650 traps, and accounted for the take of nearly 3,000 nutria. The majority were found in Merced and Stanislaus Counties, but 110 were also found in San Joaquin. The good news is that the number of Nutria taken each year declined in 2021, so CDFW hopes the trend will continue.
  • Another Restoration Project to Restore Fish in Yolo Bypass - A new project to improve floodplain habitat in the Yolo Bypass is being proposed by RD 2035 and the Conaway Preservation Group to increase inundation on 5,775 acres next to the Tule Canal. The project proponents are seeking $3.6 million to conduct an analysis and project selection permitting process that would identify a preferred project for construction.
  • Reform of DSC’s Appeal Process for Project Denials Announced - A Notice of intent to amend the Administrative Procedures that govern how the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) conducts hearings and renders decisions on appeals of projects in the Delta that if found inconsistent with the Delta Plan, can be denied certification and remanded to project proponent for modification before construction can begin. 
  • DWR Amends 404 Permit for Delta Tunnel Project - On November 22, 2021, the Dept. of Water Resources submitted a letter to the USACE requesting to amend the 404 Permit for the Delta Conveyance Project to formally identify the "Bethany Alternative" as the preferred project that will be proposed in the Draft EIR expected to be released in mid-2022.
  • Delta Drought Barrier Not Being Removed as Planned - DWR is seeking approval to notch the West False River Drought Barrier in January and to leave the barrier in place through November 2022.  Criteria for determining when drought barriers are no longer needed has been developed by DWR.  If 73 inches of precipitation on the 8-River Index and 6.5 million acre-feet of combined water storage in Oroville and Shasta have been met by April 30, 2022, then the Miner and Steamboat Slough barriers will not be installed and False River barrier will be removed.
  • New Flood Ready Website Launched - In conjunction with Flood Preparedness Week, the Delta Protection Commission launched a new flood ready website with tips for the Delta region on being prepared for the next flood event and resources the residents can access.
  • Levees Near Oakley Breached to Restore Wetland - As part of a DWR EcoRestore habitat project to restore 1,200 acres of tidal marsh, the levees surrounding the proper were breached to allow natural tidal flux to occur. The next step in the Dutch Slough Tidal Restoration Project is for access bridges and a 55-acre park to be installed.