On the “long tail” of flood disaster losses in California

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 invests little in flood risk reduction

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 unprecedented flooding in British Columbia, we called for California to prepare for unprecedented flooding, citing a 2018 study … Continue reading California’s FY 2022-23 budget invests little in flood risk reduction

Budget negotiations could determine the future of California’s Central Valley

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

We need to plan for unprecedented flooding in California

This year 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, echoing … Continue reading We need to plan for unprecedented flooding in California

Revised Delta Levees Investment Strategy approved over objections by Delta stakeholders

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

Delta Levees Investment Strategy: protecting Delta smelt?

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?

Vanishing funds for levee upgrades for smaller, vulnerable Delta communities

The Delta Stewardship Council will be adopting regulations to implement the Delta Levees Investment Strategy (DLIS) on August 22, 2019.  Maps of the priorities for levee investments are available here. The proposed regulations make investments in upgrading urban levees in West Sacramento and Stockton and adjacent areas "very high priority." These investments are long needed, particularly … Continue reading Vanishing funds for levee upgrades for smaller, vulnerable Delta communities

Urban Delta – 235,000 people at risk from levee failure in Stockton area

In 2015, the Army Corps of Engineers noted that 264,000 people live in floodplains in the Stockton metropolitan area, with $21 billion in damageable property and 23 critical structures and concluded that “[t]here is significant risk to public health, safety, and property in the project area associated with flooding...