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Flood Plain Management

To promote the common interest in reducing flood losses and to encourage the protection and enhancement of natural floodplain values...

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Local News

FMA Members receive monthly and quarterly updates on national highlights and local developments.  Become a member today to stay current with flood risk and floodplain management policy and practice!

FMA AND EWRI/ASCE PRESENT WHITE PAPER TO GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER

The Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Sacramento Section of the ASCE Sustainability Committee, and the Floodplain Management Association (FMA) have sent white paper recommendations to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger about how to sustain communities' water. The paper, titled A Time for Changing Values, Ideas, and Solutions in Water Management: Addressing Sustainability of California's Communities, comes from a symposium held earlier this summer. See press coverage here.

 

DWR RELEASES 100-YEAR ADVISORY FLOODPLAIN MAPS BASED UPON BEST AVAILABLE DATA

In 2007, California Senate Bill No. 5 (SB 5)[1] amended the California Water Code to require the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to develop best available maps for the 100- and 200-Year floodplains for areas protected by State-Federal project levees within the Sacramento-San Joaquin (SAC-SJ) Valley. DWR has expanded the best available maps for the 100-Year floodplains to produce a statewide map set covering all counties in California. To view the latest set of maps for your area, please visit the DWR flood management web site.

 

DWR FLOOD RISK NOTIFICATION FOR 2011

The California Department of Water Resources has released the annual Flood Risk Notification for 2011.  View notice here.  Property owners may visit the program's web site here and enter their address to get more information about their flood risk.

 

DWR ANNOUNCES FINAL AWARDS

DWR has announced the Final Awards for the Round 1 Proposition 84 Implementation Grant Program.  The final awards can be found here.  To view the public comments received on the draft funding recommendations, please go here.

 

DELTA INDEPENDENT SCIENCE BOARD RELEASES REPORT ON DELTA STRESSORS

The Delta Independent Science Board (ISB) has released its final report evaluating multiple stressors in the California Delta. The Delta ISB held a workshop Jan. 12-13, 2011 and a follow-up teleconference Jan. 24 to address a request from some members of the California Senate, Assembly and the Delta Stewardship Council to evaluate stressors to the Delta. The report will be presented to the Council at its Jan. 27-28 meeting. For more information, click here.

 

CONGRESSWOMAN MATSUI ASKS PRESIDENT TO INCLUDE NATOMAS LEVEE IMPROVEMENT PROJECT IN JOBS PACKAGE

Congresswoman Doris O. Matsui (CA-5) sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking that federal authorization for the Natomas Levee Improvement Project (NLIP) be included in the jobs package the Administration is preparing to submit to Congress.  Congresswoman Matsui argues that the Natomas project will create much-needed jobs in the Sacramento region, while improving the flood protection levels for Natomas residents and businesses, writing, "By including authorizations for such projects, including one for the Natomas Levee Improvement Project, which has been fully vetted by your Administration, I believe your jobs package can help crucial public safety projects get built and put thousands of Americans back to work."  The letter continues, "I believe your jobs package is the appropriate vehicle for authorizing this project and others like it, as it achieves your economic goals."  Sacramento County's unemployment rate stands at 12.9 percent, and the construction industry has lost 33,000 jobs in the Sacramento region since 2006.  When completed, the Natomas Levee Improvement Project will give the people of Natomas 200-year flood protection.  The area was remapped by FEMA in 2008. A copy of the signed letter is available here. 

 

CONGRESSWOMAN MATSUI ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR SACRAMENTO FLOOD PROJECTS IN YEAR-END 'MEGABUS' BILL

Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) voted to pass the nine-bill "megabus" appropriations package for fiscal year 2012. The megabus included the Energy and Water appropriations bill which funds the Army Corps of Engineers and, in turn, Sacramento's flood projects. The House-passed version of the bill earlier this year included a 9.6 percent reduction in funding for Sacramento's projects. However, Congresswoman Matsui continued to advocate on behalf of Sacramento's flood protection to the Conference Committee, and the projects ultimately saw only a slight reduction from the President's request for FY12.  "Each one of Sacramento's projects is a critical component to improving our flood protection and ensuring our region's public safety," said Congresswoman Matsui. "I am very pleased to see Sacramento's flood projects getting the funding they need and deserve in this 'megabus' bill. While many other Corps projects were zeroed out or substantially cut, I worked to ensure that Sacramento's projects were able to move forward without delay." More information available here.

 

CLIMATE CHANGE HANDBOOK FOR REGIONAL WATER PLANNING

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Resources Legacy Fund, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are announcing the publication of the Climate Change Handbook for Regional Water Planning.  The handbook can be downloaded from DWR's website.

 

CALIFORNIA TRIBES RECEIVE 1.5 MILLION IN GRANTS

Seven California tribes have been awarded over $1.5 million in federal funds for habitat conservation. The group includes some casino-gaming tribes with at least one matching the federal money with their own funds. The money from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) is part of $7 million in awards the agency is distributing nationally as part of an 8-year-old program that pays tribes for removing invasive species, environmental restoration and other projects. For more information, click here.

 

CALIFORNIA RELEASES WHITE PAPER ON NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT

On October 6, 2010, Secretary for Natural Resources Lester Snow hosted a policy summit titled “The Future of Natural Resource Management”. The purpose of the summit was to facilitate discussion and debate within the natural resource management and environmental community regarding policy, legislation and finance strategies that would lead to better integration of resource management activities. Local, state and federal government agencies, conservation organizations, industry representatives and other interested stakeholders, including the Floodplain Management Association, attended the summit. This document is a report on the outcome of the event and presents a series of near-term and long-term policy recommendations for consideration by the Governor-elect’s administration. To download the paper, click here.

 

CALIFORNIA RELEASES FINAL FLOOD LEGISLATION GUIDANCE FOR LOCAL COMMUNITIES

The Department of Water Resources has released a guidance document entitled Implementing California Flood Legislation into Local Land Use Planning: A Handbook for Local Communities. The Handbook describes how the 2007 flood risk management legislation affects city and county responsibilities related to local planning requirements, including general plans, development agreements, zoning ordinances, tentative maps and other actions. This Handbook is intended to help cities and counties comply with the new legislation by identifying and interpreting the provisions of the applicable government code sections, noting additional factors and actions for local jurisdictions to consider, highlighting pertinent triggers and schedules for compliance, and directing where to go for more information. To access this document, please go here.

 

CALIFORNIA CLIMATE CHANGE REPORT

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has been one of the early leaders in including climate change analysis in its planning studies and reports; however, DWR does not currently have a standard framework or a set of recommended approaches for considering climate change in its planning studies. A variety of approaches to characterize and analyze future climate have been used in various DWR planning studies. This paper surveys and summarizes the approaches and methodologies that have been used over the last four years. It is the first comprehensive comparative look at the different approaches, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they have been used in past studies. This work is anticipated to lay the groundwork for a future DWR study aimed at developing a standard framework and a consistent set of approaches to be used for characterizing and analyzing climate change in future DWR planning studies and which may provide guidance for DWR partners and grantees. The final report: "Climate Change Characterization and Analysis in California Water Resources Planning Studies" by Abdul Khan and Andrew Schwarz is now posted on the DWR internal climate change website here.

 

CALIFORNIA CENTRAL VALLEY FLOOD PROTECTION REPORT RELEASED

In preparation to conclude Phase 2 activities for the development of the 2012 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (CVFPP), the California Department of Water Resources announces the release of the Management Actions Report (MAR) and the Interim Progress Summary No. 2 (IPS No. 2). The MAR summarizes the identification, development, and evaluation of a wide range of individual management actions that contribute to CVFPP goals and address identified problems and opportunities related to flood management in the lands receiving protection from the facilities of the State Plan of Flood Control. The MAR is accompanied with two appendices: Appendix A - Management Action Descriptions and Appendix B - Considerations for Management Actions Applicability. IPS No. 2 is a high-level summary of the CVFPP development process, summary of the results of Phase 2 planning efforts, and a look ahead to upcoming development activities. Both documents are available on CVFMP Program website.

 

CALIFORNIA ANNOUNCES PROPOSITION 50 IRWM SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING IMPLEMENTATION GRANT DRAFT RECOMMENDATIONS

The Proposition 50 IRWM Supplemental Funding Implementation Grant Draft Funding Recommendations have been posted to the Department of Water Resources (DWR) Web site here. A 15-day public comment period begins on July 20 and ends August 3, 2010. Please see the website for detailed information.

 

CALIFORNIA AND FEMA SIGN STRENGTHENED MAPPING PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and California Department of Water Resources (DWR) recently resigned a Cooperating Technical Partner (CTP) mapping agreement to further benefit from each agency's work. FEMA awarded a $5.2 million grant to DWR in September 2009 to support the identification of flood hazards. The focus of the work performed in partnership under this grant will be in Colusa, Lake, Plumas, San Joaquin, Sierra, Stanislaus, Fresno and Yolo Counties. This grant will strengthen the cooperation between the two agencies in evaluating flood hazards and mapping the risks associated with those hazards. A copy of this strengthened partnership agreement is online here. More information on FloodSAFE California is available here; an overview of Risk MAP is available here.

 

ASCE/EWRI SYMPOSIUM

On February 15, 2011, an interactive symposium titled, Resiliency of Water Management –Dynamic Balancing in the 21st Century, organized by the American Society of Civil Engineers – Environmental and Water Resources Institute (ASCE-EWRI), Sacramento Chapter, in collaboration with the Floodplain Management Association (FMA), brought together over 120 experts and practitioners in water management to discuss new strategies for water management. The symposium highlighted the critical need for a shift toward a new, dynamic, risk-based and adaptive water management approach, one which fully recognizes the existence of (a) uncertainty of natural systems, (b) the variable stressors on water such as scarcity, climate change and population growth, and (c) the diverse interests that play a key role in water governance. An outcome of the Symposium is a White Paper that presents the key ideas and recommendations set forth by the diverse and distinguished panel members and participants that attended the Symposium. The Paper has been sent to Governor Jerry Brown and other elected officials.

 

2012 CFCC FUNDING FAIRS

The 2012 California Financing Coordinating Committee (CFCC) is pleased to announce six free upcoming funding fairs located in San Diego, Riverside, Fresno, Santa Cruz, Redding and Sacramento.  The CFCC Funding Fairs provide opportunities for economic development professionals and local government officials to obtain more information about the grant, loan and bond financing options that are available for critical infrastructure projects in their region.  Each Funding Fair includes overviews of state and federal financing programs and on-site technical assistance for specific projects. CFCC was formed in 1998 and is made up of eight funding agencies: five state and three federal.  CFCC members facilitate and expedite the completion of various types of infrastructure projects by helping customers combine the resources of different agencies. Project information is shared between members so additional resources can be identified. CFCC members conduct free Funding Fairs statewide each year to educate the public and potential customers about the different member agencies and the financial and technical resources available. More information available here.

 

2010 CLIMATE ACTION TEAM REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE

Full report here.

 

MATSUI ANNOUNCES INITIAL FUNDING LEVELS FOR SACRAMENTO FLOOD PROTECTION

Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) announced that three of Sacramento's top flood protection priorities were funded in the House Energy and Water Fiscal Year 2013 Appropriations bill. The bill was passed by the full House Appropriations Committee today, and will next be up for a vote by the full House of Representatives.

In this current economic climate, several regions throughout the country are seeing significant project cuts or are receiving no funding. However, Sacramento's projects together will receive more than $93 million.

"While I understand the need to reign in the federal budget and reduce our national deficit, public safety must not be compromised just to meet a bottom line," said Congresswoman Matsui. "We cannot afford to put thousands of Sacramento homeowners and businesses at risk. The federal government must continue to be a partner in Sacramento's flood protection efforts, and I am pleased to see many of our critical projects receive the funding they need to move forward. I will continue working every day to see that our region's projects get the federal support they need and deserve."

Congresswoman Matsui has been a tireless advocate for federal support for Sacramento's flood protection priorities since she was sworn into office in 2005. She continues to be in constant contact with leaders of the Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, the State of California, the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA), and other agencies to ensure that construction continues on time and on budget, and has continued to argue Sacramento's case to her colleagues on the Appropriations Committee through both conversations and formal letters.

The current funding levels, as written into the legislation before the Appropriations Committee, are as follows:

American River Common Features – $6,080,000
For work within the American River Watershed, including the American River Common Features General Re-evaluation Report, further design work in support of levee improvements in Natomas and levee improvements on the American River.

Folsom Dam Joint Federal Project – $82,300,000
To continue construction on the auxiliary spillway, which will provide greater efficiency in managing flood storage in Folsom Reservoir.

Folsom Dam Raise – $4,800,000
To raise Folsom Dam to help achieve 200-year-flood protection for the region.

In addition, the Energy and Water Appropriations bill takes into account concerns that have been voiced, particularly across California, regarding the Army Corps of Engineers elimination of Section 104 crediting. This crediting provided certainty to local governments who decide to move forward on levee improvement projects with local and state money, with the assurances that the federal government will be a partner down the road. Unfortunately, following their elimination of Section 104 crediting, the Army Corps moved to Section 221 crediting, which has a much more rigorous set of criteria in order to get credit – including obtaining a Chief's Report, which often is a multi-year process. This move is holding up projects, even those that are being thoroughly vetted and are critical to public safety.

Due to Congresswoman Matsui's advocating, the Energy and Water Appropriations bill calls for a more flexible policy for crediting, and directs the Secretary to review existing policy to determine if changes should be made so that there can be variance in the policy instead of a one-size-fits-all policy. The Secretary is required to report this within 60 days of enactment of the appropriations bill.

"The Army Corps' recent decisions regarding federal crediting for local work is another blanket approach that doesn't take into account the characteristics and variables of each project. I am hopeful that the Secretary will move forward with a policy that gives our region's projects the certainty they need."

 

 

CONGRESSWOMAN MATSUI ANNOUNCES AN ADDITIONAL $8 MILLION FOR SACRAMENTO FLOOD PROJECTS

Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) announced that the Folsom Dam Joint Federal Project (JFP) will receive $7.42 million from the Army Corps of Engineers new 'Reserve Fund'. Additionally, the Folsom Dam Raise project will receive $720,000 from the fund. The year-end appropriations package for fiscal year 2012 established a $59.3 million fund to allow the Corps to allocate additional money to critical flood protection projects. Congresswoman Matsui immediately began advocating for the JFP to receive a portion of that fund, sending a letter to the Corps in December.  See full article here.

 

URBAN STREAM RESTORATION PROGRAM FINAL GRANT AWARDS

The Urban Stream Restoration Program (USRP) has released the list of Final Grant Awards for the 2008 application solicitation.  Twelve applications have been awarded grant funding for a total of $8,840,335 in grant funds from Propositions 84 and 40.  The next grant funding application cycle is expected to begin in the winter of 2012.  The Final Grant Awards and additional USRP information, such as the Guidelines and enabling legislation (California Water Code Section 7048) are available on the USRP website.

 

CA DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION SENDS LETTER DEMANDING CHANGES IN LEVEE VEGETATION VARIANCE POLICY

Congresswoman Doris O. Matsui, with over thirty of her colleagues and the support of the entire California Democratic Congressional Delegation, sent a letter to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy, in response to the public comment period for the Policy Guidance Letter (PGL) on Variance from Vegetation Standards for Levees and Floodwalls released by the Army Corps in February.  Members of Congress and the State of california remain concerned that the PGL continues to ignore the science on the subject of vegetation on levees, and does not provide enough flexibility that takes into account California's unique challenges. 

 

CA DWR'S CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

The draft version of DWR's Climate Action Plan and its associated California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) documents have been posted online and are available for public comment.  The plan will provide a guide for considering energy use and greenhouse gas emissions during project development.  Details are available on the DWR Climate Action Plan webpage.  DWR will hold four public hearings on the draft environmental impact report (EIR) for the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan.  Both documents are available here.

 

CALIFORNIA DWR ANNOUNCES THE FORMATION OF ITS CLIMATE CHANGE TECHNICAL ADVISORY GROUP

Among its responsibilities, the CCTAG will provide advice to DWR on how best to incorporate climate change into analysis for the California Water Plan. You can view the press release here.

 

DWR RELEASES LIST OF DRAFT GRANT AWARD RECOMMENDATIONS

The Department of Water Resources has released the list of Draft Grant Award Recommendations from the 2008 USRP Grant Solicitation.  The list is now available for public review and can be found at the USRP website.  Twelve projects are being recommended for grant funding this solicitation cycle for a total of $8,765,335 from Propositions 84 and 40.  Through local community and local public agency partnerships, the USRP provides grants for projects which reduce flooding and erosion, and associated property damage; restore, enhance, or protect the natural ecological values of streams, and promotes community involvement, education, and stewardship.