Feb 20 2012

A Few Good Reads (2/20/12): Salmon and California Flood Protection

This week: Salmon habitat restoration, more on the CVFPP in California, where the Colorado runs dry, the cost of the recovery in Minot, and flood inquiries in Queensland grappling over a hydraulic model.


California bonds pay for levees in floodplains, leading to more growth, increased flood risk (AP)

Although courts have found the state financially liable for levee failures, officials acknowledge the state has exercised little control over years of rapid residential and commercial development on what once were lightly populated floodplains.

But they have begun taking steps to change that, said Mike Mierzwa, senior engineer at the California Department of Water Resources.

A state flood control plan released in December calls for limiting growth in undeveloped floodplains and encourages smarter land use planning. It advocates widening floodways and bypasses and purchasing conservation easements to prevent urban development.

Public Involvement in a Better Plan: Letter to the Central Valley Flood Protection Board (The Water Away)

The conservation groups identify six areas for improving the plan that integrate instead of separate multiple interests:

1. Maximize the use of cost-effective and multi-benefit flood management tools such as flood bypasses, setback levees, and transitory storage on floodplains.

2. Specify an overarching strategy with measurable objectives for incorporating ecosystem function.

3. Clearly state how the flood plan will be integrated with related state and federal restoration efforts within the state flood control planning area.

4. Develop a more explicit climate change adaptation strategy to minimize projected impacts on flood risk, ecosystems, and water supply reliability.

5. Explicitly integrate and balance flood management and water supply objectives.

6. Provide specific guidance to enable local planning.

Where the Colorado Runs Dry (NY Times Op-Ed)

In 2008 I tried to float the length of the 1,450-mile river to the sea but had to walk the last week of the trip. Pools stagnated in the cracked riverbed. Like the 30 million other Americans who depend on the river, I worry about drinking water — but I also worry about the sorry inheritance we are leaving future generations.

Flooding in the Dakota Oil Patch Prompts $1-Billion Rebuild (ENR)

While there is much work to be done, Minot—also home to a major intercontinental ballistic missile base—is under pressure to build a levee system to protect residents and avoid the pain, destruction and danger dealt by the 2011 flood. Coughlin says the city could spend $1 billion on flood protection "and protect our citizens for the next 1,000 years."

Flood Inquiry told of flawed river model (ABC News)

But speaking to PM from Singapore, he says a flawed model is being used to calculate hypothetical Brisbane River water levels.

"We have some concerns that the model that’s actually used is really not able to accurately predict water levels," he said.

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  1. Moving in the Right Direction: The 2012 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan Public Draft » Hydraulically Inclined

    […] « A Few Good Reads (2/20/12): Salmon and California Flood Protection […]

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