(Sacramento) – Assemblymember Gray (D-Merced), Chair of the Committee on Governmental Organization, and Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) today held a joint informational hearing on flood management and emergency preparedness.
During the hearing, members of the committees heard testimony about California’s inland flood control system and emergency preparedness from the Legislative Analyst’s Office, Department of Water Resources, California Office of Emergency Services, Central Valley Flood Protection Board, Central Valley Flood Control Association, Reclamation District 108, and the Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services.
California’s flood control system is complex, and local, state and federal agencies have developed a variety of physical structures to regulate flood flows.
Since 1992, every county in California has been declared a federal disaster area at least once because of a flood. More than 7.3 million people, and structures valued at nearly $600 billion statewide are located in an area with a 1-in-500 probability of flooding.
In the Central Valley alone, nearly one of three residents, and crops worth nearly $6 billion are located in flood-prone areas.
The Department of Water Resources provided an overview of actions they are taking to reduce the residual flood risk, previous flood management investments and the current reservoir conditions and snowmelt forecast California’s river basins.
In discussing the forecasts for runoff, Chairman Gray noted “the symbiotic relationship between water storage and flood risk requires policymakers to take a more collaborative approach in answering California water question. For far too long, California has not had a real water plan. California’s aging water infrastructure as (sic)paid the price.”
Chairman Garcia stated, “Today’s hearing was an opportunity to learn more about the coordination between our local, state, and federal flood management teams, and to ensure emergency managers and first responders are receiving the information they need, to keep our communities safe.”
Chairman Gray added, “We cannot afford to be caught flatfooted. We need to ensure our emergency plans are up-to-date, and fully consider the consequences flooding has on lifeline systems such as fuel, power, communications, drinking water, and transportation.