Category: Flood Control

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Trump Executive Order Issued on Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and Regulatory Reform

August 15, 2017 was a busy day for the Trump Administration. While interacting with the press and other politicians regarding the protests and counter-protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, the White House was also issuing an Executive Order with potentially far-reaching effects on flood management. The first action was a new Executive Order (not numbered as of release … Continue Reading

USACE Issues Guidance on Contributed Funds for Section 408 Review

As many in the industry have learned recently, the FY 17 budget only included approximately $3 million nationwide for processing 33 U.S.C. Section 408 review. This is the Section under which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) claims jurisdiction to review and approve any alterations or encroachments to Federally authorized water resources facilities such … Continue Reading

James Dalton, Director of Civil Works at USACE, Offers Valuable Perspectives at Annual NAFSMA Conference

One of the best ways to learn about the direction of national flood risk management is to attend the annual conference of the National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies (NAFSMA). The NAFSMA conference is an amazing meeting of decision-makers and thought-leaders from around the country, with important topics discussed at a plenary session-only … Continue Reading

New Guidance from USACE Could Streamline Processes

A June 21, 2017 Memorandum issued by James Dalton, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Director of Civil Works, is designed to streamline a number of USACE processes, including: Embracing risk-based decision-making.  While USACE has always been good at evaluating the risk of flooding from the present condition, or the future condition, it has not been … Continue Reading

USACE Releases FY17 Work Plan; Media Book Released on FY18 Budget Proposal

With not too much extra waiting, the key documents were released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Instead of a long post, here are the key links to the documents you need: At this link you can expand the FY17 Work Plan (at the bottom) to see Investigations, Construction, etc. At this link you can … Continue Reading

Rumors of an Impending Work Plan to be Released with the Draft USACE Budget on May 23?? Well, Not Quite Yet.

Good day!  As many of you know, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had scheduled a press conference for Tuesday, May 23 to go over the President’s proposed USACE budget for FY18. The rumor had been that the FY17 Work Plan would be released at the same time. This would have been a pretty monumental … Continue Reading

The FY2017 Budget Continues to Support Army Corps Activities

On Friday May 5 President Trump signed the budget deal that allows the Federal government to move from its one week continuing resolution to an adopted budget for the 2017 Fiscal Year.  The budget deal includes a healthy set of appropriations for flood risk reduction and puts the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on … Continue Reading

The Army Corps of Engineers, a Continuing Resolution Expiration, and a Congress That Hasn’t Yet Made Up Its Mind.

Today’s post features a collaboration between guest author Julie Minerva and Scott and Andrea. After a grueling six-week legislative stretch, Members of Congress have returned home for a two-week district work period (weeks of April 10 and April 17).  Senators are scheduled to return to the Capitol on Monday, April 24th, while the House of Representatives will follow one day behind … Continue Reading

Update on Oroville Dam, Concerns about Fish and a Related Snow Survey

Things have appeared relatively quiet at Oroville Dam for the past couple of weeks, but a lot has been happening.  DWR has been clearing debris from the diversion pool and has successfully started up releases through the Hyatt Powerplant, but the drawdown had some negative impacts downstream.  Here is our latest update. As always, if … Continue Reading

The Governor Writes a Letter, and Roundup on Flooding Issues Around the State

Here’s our Saturday morning update on flood control issues in the Central Valley and beyond. Things have been quieter this week at Oroville Dam, but there’s plenty to report on from around the state. As always, if you find this blog helpful or interesting, please feel free to share it with others who may be … Continue Reading

A Mishmash of News as California Gets Even Wetter.

It feels like Monday morning’s installment should start with a rousing round of “rain, rain, go away, come again another day, Californians want to play!”  With even more storms set to hit Northern and Southern California, the rain totals continue to rise and Mother Nature once again shows her awesome power.  Today’s installment is focused on short summaries … Continue Reading

DWR Expresses Confidence That Oroville Threat Has Diminished, and Downstream Levees Will be Reinforced. And Here Comes the Rain!!

Here is Saturday morning’s installment of our update on the Oroville Dam spillway incident and more news about the valley.  In summary, Oroville’s Powerhouse is still not able to produce power; the emergency or auxiliary spillway remains stable; workers continue to add rock and concrete to address the erosion that led to the evacuations; the primary … Continue Reading

Mandatory Evacuation Ends Below Oroville Dam, But the Flood Control System in the Valley Remains Strained

Here is Wednesday morning’s installment of our update on the Oroville Dam spillway incident and more news about the valley. For background, please see our earlier blog posts which set the stage and provide context.  In sum, the mandatory evacuation is over; the emergency or auxiliary spillway remains stable; workers continue to add rock and … Continue Reading

“Dynamic” Situation at Oroville Dam: Valentine’s Day Update (and in other news….)

Here is Tuesday morning’s installment of our update on the Oroville Dam spillway incident.  For background, please see our earlier blog posts, starting last Thursday, February 9, and most recently our update of February 13 which sets the stage and provides context.  In sum, the evacuation continues; the emergency or auxiliary spillway is stable; workers … Continue Reading

Uncontrolled Releases on Oroville Dam Were Unlikely From This Storm Event; Now Certain

What a difference a day makes!  As of Friday afternoon, it appeared unlikely that Oroville Reservoir would rise enough for water to flow over the emergency spillway, as inflow into the lake had been declining since early Friday, the rain had stopped, and the primary spillway continued to be used to manage outflow. But the … Continue Reading

Update on El Niño, and Some Recent Flood Control History in the Central Valley

Last fall we crossed our fingers that the predicted El Niño weather pattern would drench us just enough to alleviate California’s critical drought conditions, but not so much that the flood control system would be overwhelmed (even though, as I explained here, past El Niño patterns have not been associated with big flooding events). The … Continue Reading

USACE Issues Draft Guidance on Federal Credit; Comments Due By September 28, 2015

A little more than a year after the passage of the Water Resources Reform and Develop Act (WRRDA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has issued the draft guidance required by section 1018. And, from a local perspective, the draft guidance is quite good and appears to reflect a softening on some crediting issues that … Continue Reading

Will an El Niño Weather Pattern Lead to Flooding in California’s Central Valley?

If you have been reading major California newspapers over the past few weeks, you have seen a number of stories about a “monster” El Niño event headed our way this winter.  Most of those articles address whether such an event would end California’s four-year drought.  A small handful of them address what I consider a more interesting question: … Continue Reading

Inverse Condemnation Flooding Case Moves Forward in Texas

A recent Texas Supreme Court case on inverse condemnation has opened the door for a group of homeowners to continue in a lawsuit against their county and flood control district over property damage that was allegedly a known possibility when the government entities approved the housing development.  These cases are rare, so it’s an unusual … Continue Reading

New California Tribal Consultation Law Takes Effect July 1

Most flood control projects require environmental review triggered by a federal, state, or local agency permit or decision. For example, federal agencies must consider the environmental impacts of their proposed actions under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and many states have their own “mini-NEPA” laws that require state and local agencies to identify the … Continue Reading

Development Set to Begin Again in Sacramento’s Natomas Area

Since 2008 the Natomas area in the City of Sacramento has been under an effective moratorium on new development due to insufficient flood protection. The area is preparing to re-start development once the City receives a letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that lifts a flood hazard designation that was severely limiting the … Continue Reading
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