Category: Flood Control

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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

Louisiana Judge Tosses Lawsuit Blaming Oil and Gas Industry for Flood Damages

A lawsuit brought in 2013 by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East has been dismissed by a federal judge who found that the Authority had failed to support its claims against dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies. The Authority sued the companies for damages, arguing that their oil and gas exploration activities had damaged … Continue Reading

State Grant Program Offers $150 Million for Urban Flood Protection Projects

California flood control agencies learned in January that the state’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) is making available $150 million for projects aimed at reducing flood risks to urban areas. The Urban Flood Risk Reduction grant money, which represents a portion of the $5 billion approved by voters in 2006, will be distributed through a … Continue Reading

2014 Milestone: Passage of Water Infrastructure Legislation

When it comes to federal legislative actions that impact flood control, the passage of water infrastructure legislation was undoubtedly the most significant action in 2014. After months of difficult negotiations in Congress, the House and Senate passed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) and the President signed the bill into law in late … Continue Reading

Corps Issues New 408 Guidance for Modifications of Authorized Projects

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) issued a new engineering circular (EC 1165-2-216) to provide policy and guidance for processing requests to alter USACE civil works projects pursuant to 33 U.S.C. section 408. This new circular collects existing guidance from several informal documents, codifies USACE practice from some USACE Districts that process many 408 … Continue Reading
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