The US Geological Survey's ARkStorm studies included extensive analyses of vulnerabilities to flooding. In 2016, USGS Researchers Geoffrey Plumlee, Charles Alpers, Suzette Morman, and Carma San Juan published “Anticipating Environmental and Environmental-Health Implications of Extreme Storms: ARkStorm Scenario.” The ARkStorm 1.0 scenario found extensive flooding of the San Joaquin Valley and the Tulare Lake basin … Continue reading USGS ARkStorm 1.0 study showed high risk of contamination from Tulare lake basin flooding
The Newsom administration's strategy for dealing with flood flows relies heavily on diversions to farmland for groundwater recharge. But flooding in the Tulare basin this year is showing how orchards are not resilient to floods. And orchards have also not been resilient to recent droughts. This is what happens to an almond orchard in full … Continue reading Orchards are not resilient to floods or droughts
High flood flows in Tulare County are causing levee breaches. Levee breaches on Deer Creek and Poso Creek are currently endangering Allensworth, a California town that was founded by African-Americans, as well as the town of Alpaugh. For more background on Allensworth, see this article. Los Angeles Times reporter Ian James drove to Allensworth and … Continue reading Chaos in Tulare County shows need for advance flood planning
By Kathleen Schaefer and Deirdre Des Jardins Hurricane Ian has shown the vulnerability of the rapidly growing cities in the Southeast to storm-driven flooding. As reported in the New York Times, in the counties whose residents were told to evacuate, just 18.5 percent of homes have insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) (Flavelle … Continue reading On the “long tail” of flood disaster losses in California
California's FY 2022-23 budget provides huge, once in generation capital investments. And extreme flooding is a growing climate risk, as the ARkStorm 2.0 study by XingYing Huang and Daniel Swain illustrates. In November of 2021, after the extreme flooding in British Columbia, we called for California to prepare for extreme flooding, citing a 2018 study … Continue reading California’s FY 2022-23 budget invests little in flood risk reduction
Modeling by the Department of Water Resources for the 2022 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan Update shows that peak flood flows on the San Joaquin River could more than double with climate change, and peak flows on the Sacramento could increase by 40%. In 2018, Daniel Swain, Baird Langenbrunner, and David Neelin found that there … Continue reading Budget negotiations could determine the future of California’s Central Valley
This year (2021) we have seen unprecedented flooding in Europe and on the East Coast. We’ve also just seen unprecedented flooding in British Columbia. As David Wallace Wells reports in "This Is What Happens When One Climate Disaster Follows Another," The impacts have been significantly greater than expected,” acknowledged Mike Farnworth, the deputy premier of British Columbia, … Continue reading We need to plan for extreme flooding in California
At the August 2021 meeting, the Delta Stewardship Council voted to approve a revised Delta Levees Investment Strategy and to move to formal rulemaking, with Councilmember Don Nottoli, Chair of the Delta Protection Commission, voting against the proposal. The Delta Levees Investment Strategy prioritizes state funding for Delta levees. Levees marked "very high" priority (red), … Continue reading Revised Delta Levees Investment Strategy approved over objections by Delta stakeholders
Climate change will bring increased frequency and severity of flooding to the Central Valley. To avoid catastrophic flooding, major investments will need to be made.
The Delta Stewardship Council has considered and rejected an alternative for the Delta Levees Investment Strategy that prioritized reducing risks to lives and property in the Delta. It’s listed as Alternative 3 in the Initial Statement of Reasons for the regulations adopting the strategy. The Delta Stewardship Council explains that Alternative 3 was rejected because it … Continue reading Delta Levees Investment Strategy: protecting Delta smelt?