Local governments and nonprofits trying to recover from major disasters have sometimes learned the hard way that money spent on protective measures, cleanup and rebuilding is not always reimbursed by the U.S. government.
Last winter’s heavy rains were a welcome relief for Central Valley farmers after years of drought. But the high water that came with them also made it clear that we must upgrade the flood control system designed to protect people, farms and cities from catastrophic flooding.
Next month three Marin Municipal Water District spillways will undergo an inspection to make sure they are safe in the wake of the Oroville Dam problems earlier this year. Last week the district hired Los Angeles-based AECOM to conduct evaluations of the spillways at the Kent, Nicasio and Soulajule reservoirs as required by the state Division of Safety of Dams.
Ross Valley’s controversial flood fee was hiked 3 percent Tuesday, helping pay for a public relations campaign smoothing the waters for projects that will turn key park areas into flood retention basins.
If 200-year flood protection isn’t secured — or at least a financial and implementation plan in place by July 1, 2016 — development of the Great Wolf Resort and family entertainment zone, The Trails at Manteca, and other residential projects in southwest Manteca won’t take place.
“By recycling more water, capturing storm runoff and boosting efficiency on farms and at home, California would have more than enough water to cover its needs, even during a drought, the authors of a new report said Tuesday.”
“When Rosalinda Cardenas was a kid, her parents warned her often: Stay away from the Pacoima Wash. A few blocks from her home on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, the concrete-encased flood control channel was barricaded by rusty chain-link fences, broken glass and garbage.”
“The House of Representatives, on a vote of 412-4, approved legislation to move an array of Sacramento-area flood control projects forward, concluding [Rep. Doris] Matsui’s nearly four-year quest for the bill.”
“Goodbye Menlo Wash, the submerged dip at the border of San Jacinto and Hemet, and no more cars straddling the Santa Fe Avenue centerline to avoid stalling out in storm runoff in San Jacinto’s Midway area.”
From the California Department of Water Resources (DWR):
“To preserve agriculture, flood protection and wildlife habitat, the Knaggs Ranch project completed this month will help determine if floodplains doing double duty growing rice and other crops can also be used as nurseries for salmon.”
“There’s no easy fix for the National Flood Insurance Program, now drowning in a $24 billion sea of red ink.
“But experts and advocates say Congress does have some options that could make the troubled program financially stable, more affordable and more effective at motivating change in communities built too close to the water.”
“Earlier this month, Congress sought to ease their fears of sky-high premiums by rolling back a 2012 reform ending the government’s costly practice of offering subsidized insurance for older homes and businesses in flood zones. The president signed the bill Friday.”
“As California’s historic drought worsens by the day, Silicon Valley’s main water provider faces a difficult choice: Risk catastrophic flooding if a major earthquake strikes its largest dam — or drain billions of gallons of water from the reservoir behind it to make repairs.”