There are several programs under various agencies currently subject to activities that will impact California’s flood management system, the implementation of the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (CVFPP) and the Department of Water Resources (DWR) Division of Flood Management.  While many of the activities have significant direct impacts to counties in the Central Valley, every county could be impacted to some extent through additional development requirements. 

The CVFPP, originally adopted in 2012 and updated in 2017, is a comprehensive framework for system-wide flood management and flood risk reduction in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River Basins, encompassing and affecting 33 counties.  The CVFPP does not approve specific projects, but offers recommendations for floodway and bypass expansions, improvements to intake and gate structures, urban and rural levee repairs, and ecosystem restoration.  Specific projects are identified through the integration of subsequent system-wide and regional planning processes. 

The 2012 CVFPP provided conceptual guidance to reduce the risk of flooding with a goal of providing 200-year protection to urban areas, and reducing flood risks to small communities and rural agricultural lands.  The 2017 CVFPP Update is a more refined and specific plan that builds on the 2012 plan and moved forward with full stakeholder support.    The CVFPP is the blueprint to improve flood risk management in the Central Valley over the next three decades, and describes a long-term, systemwide approach for improving flood management in the Central Valley.  The State Systemwide Investment Approach (SSIA) includes two types of physical actions: (1) regional improvements that address local and regional flood management needs; and, (2) long-term, system-wide improvements to the State Plan of Flood Control (SPFC) that provide cross-regional benefits and improve overall flood system function, flexibility, and resiliency.   

There were multiple planning components occurring simultaneously for the identification of projects on both a system-wide and regional approach.  On the system-wide front, DWR worked towards coordination and engagement in the Basin-Wide Feasibility Studies and Conservation Strategies completed in 2016 and incorporated into the 2017 CVFPP. 

On the regional front, DWR worked with local entities to develop plans that present local agencies' perspectives of flood management with a prioritized list of feasible projects that need to be implemented to reduce flood risks in each region.  There are a total of six Regional Flood Management Planning (RFMP) areas.  The RFMPs developed flood management priorities while at the same time aligning with the 2012 CVFPP, to the extent feasible.  By clearly establishing regional flood management priorities, the plans facilitate future funding and implementation of flood risk reduction projects. 

A copy of the 2017 CVFPP Update can be accessed here.

Staff:  Mary-Ann Warmerdam and Mary Pitto