So what’s at risk for flooding in California? And what problems does the state face in fixing the problem of flood management? Most of it goes far beyond what a water damage restoration company like ours can fix.
Here are some situations and issues that California flood management advocates must take into account if they are to successfully create and move forward with a sensible flood management action From water.ca.gov:
Impact on agriculture
There is more than $7 billion of crop potential in 500-year floodplains. Overall, as much as 40 percent of the state’s vital agricultural land is in a floodplain. In fact, the Sacramento and San Joaquin River and the Tulare Lake areas have more than $1 billion in 500-year floodplains, and losing those crops for a season or more could devastate the regional or statewide economy – and disrupt the nation’s food supply.
• Impact on the environment. Being good stewards of the environment means establishing plans that protect it while allowing humans the greatest possible freedom and protection. That requires consistent regulation and protections for rare and endangered plants – and much more.
• Complex agency involvement. There are overlapping responsibilities among public agencies, conflicting regulations and other problems with getting a handle on flood management. When agencies learn to work together, duplicate efforts can be eliminated, holes in efforts can be reduced or eliminated and grander plans can come together because of greater funding and involvement.
• Infrastructure isn’t meeting needs. While the flood management infrastructure already in place – including levees – has prevented billions in damage and saved countless lives, this infrastructure needs maintenance, improvements and more. And infrastructure is not meeting rising demand as people move into areas previously known to flood, in 500-year floodplains or unprotected by seawalls and other barriers.
• Funding continues to be limited and unreliable. Even though devastating floods have proven the importance of flood management, funding is still limited and even more unreliable than in the past. In many cases, only a flood event spurs spending, and this decreases after the initial reaction. Budgets are often inadequate since the full cost of flood management sometimes isn’t considered. Plus, bond money for flood management is nearly depleted.
• Flood strategies must be part of an integrated water management effort. Collaborations across many fields and disciplines are required, and the need for drinking water stability and other water needs must be addressed at the same time flooding concerns are being dealt with.
• Recommendations must be taken seriously. For flood management efforts to work, recommendations from expert panels and committees must be taken seriously. When tools, plans and actions are suggested, they must be funded and acted upon to generate the results that everyone wants. Otherwise, flood management efforts won’t come to much.
Flooding is something that can impact any Californian. In fact, all of California’s 58 counties have had at least one flood emergency in the last two decades, and an astounding 20 percent of all California residents live in a floodplain.
Because there are more than $580 billion in assets and property subject to flood risks – not to mention millions of people – everyone in the state must take rushing and rising water seriously. When a flood strikes, loss of life can be devastating, and flood damage restoration to put things back as they should be can cost millions and take weeks or months.
The state and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been working for decades to cut flood risk and reduce consequences when a catastrophic water event happens. Plus, local agencies in San Diego and across local counties and the state have done their part in many cases to control flooding in the best ways they know how.
Still, more must be done.
The Department of Water Resources at the state level as well as the Army Corps of Engineers have developed a plan related to the future of flooding in the state that’s based on four important principles:
Flooding can’t be completely eliminated.
While flood management efforts can go a long way toward cutting the risks and consequences associated with flooding, the risk will never go away. Still, flood management can improve the safety of the public, create a sense of environmental responsibility and stewardship and help support increased economic stability.
Multiple-benefit programs are best.
When flood management solutions are created with the entire system in mind, there is the best chance of success and public resources are used most responsibly. Going it alone isn’t likely to be successful for something as big as flooding concerns.
Cooperation enhances flood management.
Flood management is, of course, the responsibility of all levels of government, and cooperation makes for the best chance of success. Local, state and U.S. government officials must share responsibility for flood management, especially since dealing with flooding often requires working across jurisdictional and geographic boundaries toward overall solutions.
Climate change and other outside factors must be taken into consideration.
For flood management solutions to be effective, public agencies at all governmental levels must create solutions that take into account as many variables as possible, including the increasing risk and volatility that could be the result of global climate change.
And something else is certain: now’s the time for California to work to prevent future catastrophic flooding events. That makes sense from a cost perspective, from the perspective of preserving human life whenever possible and from the perspective of environmental responsibility.
At Orange Restoration, we support efforts to prevent natural disasters – because that makes much more sense and costs much less in the long run than cleaning up after them. While there will always be flooding and a need for disaster recovery services like those our company provides, there are flood management solutions that can reduce the day-to-day risk for so many Californians.
We want the very best for California, and that means decreasing flooding risk even though the risk can never be entirely eliminated. And we support any government effort that moves us closer to better prediction, better avoidance and better recovery from flooding so that California’s citizens are protected and our economy stays strong and gets even stronger in the months, years, decades and even centuries to come.
Call Orange Restoration Today for Flood Damage Repair in San Diego!
In need of some major or minor flood management work? Time is of the essence to avoid further damage! Call Orange Restoration right away and we’ll have specialists give your situation a thorough inspection with cost-effective recommendations. All of our technicians are fully certified and trained in all facets of damage restoration. We will respond quickly and get your property back to its original state in no time at all. We are available for 24/7 emergency services. Give us a call today!