Andrea Clark specializes in water rights and flood control, serving as general counsel to a variety of public agencies from local reclamation districts and water districts to regional joint powers authorities.
Public agencies in the water and flood control fields rely on Andrea for her ability to explain in understandable terms the wide range of issues impacting them, including basic transparency laws (Brown Act and Public Records Act), public bidding and contracting, bond financing, the unique nature of joint powers authorities, and elections. She also regularly counsels clients on water transfers, Proposition 218 compliance, the California Environmental Quality Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and financing strategies for major capital improvement projects.
With a special expertise in flood control and floodplain management, Andrea is regularly asked to speak on topics ranging from flood insurance to climate change and the future of flood control policy in California. Through her representation of clients in state flood policy and speaking engagements, she has forged strong relationships with key members of the flood control community in California.
Andrea also counsels private clients, including landowners and mutual water companies, on water supply matters, including proceedings before the State Water Resources Control Board, water rights determinations, and contractual disputes with Federal agencies.
On a recent visit to Washington, D.C. to work on client issues, I attended any number of meetings where we discussed Federal appropriations. But before we get to an observation or two, here is a recap on the process for how Congress can choose to invest money into a flood risk management project with the … Continue Reading
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will expire at the end of the month. For anyone that has read the newspaper lately, this is a lousy time for the program to expire with two hurricanes bearing down on the Eastern seaboard, and Texas’ largest city recovering from a 100-year storm. But politically, it is a … Continue Reading
Despite reticence in Washington, D.C. about the term “climate change” (see yesterday’s blog post on this topic), there is plenty of discussion in the media and in scientific circles about whether intense, off-the-charts storms like Hurricane Harvey are the result of, or are associated with, climate change. Unfortunately, we are unlikely to see a widely agreed-upon … Continue Reading
The democratic members of the Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee took the initiative to lay out their priorities for a future infrastructure package. Those priorities, totaling over $500 billion, are included in a July 21, 2017 EPW Minority Letter on Infrastructure to Chairman Barrasso (WY). They include only the types of infrastructure which … Continue Reading
All eyes are appropriately on Houston right now, where record rainfall has led to catastrophic flooding, loss of life, inestimable damages, and years if not decades of recovery and re-building. Around the country, many communities are now sitting up and paying more attention to that question, “what if that happened here?” Here in Sacramento, where … Continue Reading
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.… Continue Reading
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
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
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
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
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
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
Good day! Today we feature a series of little squibs of what has been happening in the past two weeks. All of the information below is confirmed, and all of it is notated with additional context. But we did want to share with you one item, which we cannot confirm, but which we are hearing … Continue Reading
Today’s post features a collaboration between guest author Julie Minerva and Scott and Andrea. This morning the Trump Administration released its America First Budget (aka the Skinny Budget) for FY18. The text of the document contains much of the same rhetoric you heard in the President’s inaugural address as the budget proposes to focus on advancing the … Continue Reading
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
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
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
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
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
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
On Saturday we said, “What a difference a day makes!” And that is true again! As of Sunday night at 11:00 pm when we wrote this we had been through several very scary hours and over a hundred thousand people had been evacuated from their homes. Indeed, the facts are so fluid and the information … Continue Reading
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
As many of you know, the big news on Tuesday was that the spillway on Oroville Dam had developed a large crater from water eroding away the Oroville Spillway structure. Based on the large hole, DWR stopped all flows down the Spillway to evaluate the damage. Water users downstream started to get nervous as Oroville … Continue Reading
Researchers at UC Davis recently concluded that California should consider leaving the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and explore implementation of its own statewide flood insurance program in order to invest in risk reduction rather than premiums. This is an idea that has been talked about for years by state and local flood management experts. … Continue Reading