Wouldn’t it be great if a flood management program could be developed that solves many of California’s flooding issues while also dealing with water supply concerns and ecological issues? In the process of solving the flooding crisis, other situations could be respected and improved.
California’s Department of Water Resources is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build a program of what they call IWM – or Integrated Water Management. The idea is to create flood management programs with multiple benefits in mind.
With IWM, flood management can be handled along with water supply management and actions to protect and develop the ecosystem so that there are benefits on all these issues, not just on flooding.
For that to happen, governmental leaders must work with people from the private sector and across all agencies, integrating experts from economics, engineering and the environmental sciences as well as public policy and public information voices. When fully implemented, IWM will promote flexibility in the system and resiliency that could accommodate changing conditions and issues like ecosystem needs, climate change, drought or flood events, regional preferences and financing capabilities.
Better Safety Is The Result
What difference would an integrated approach make? IWM provides better results for everyone – especially the people of California, who should be the ultimate recipients of any flood management actions. IWM results in better public safety, greater environmental stewardship and helps ensure the stability of the statewide economy, which could be placed in jeopardy by a devastating flood event in certain regions of the state.
Think of IWM as a holistic approach to solving many California needs at once, just as holistic medicine concerns itself with the whole body at once.
Long-Term Cooperation Is Necessary
It’s important to understand that the IWM approach to flood management doesn’t involve a single meeting or series of collaborations. For this approach to work to reduce flood risk and meet the other goals involved in this integrated approach, the creators of this approach have determined that a never-before-seen level of cooperation and alignment between public agencies, landowners, interest-based groups, tribal entities and all other stakeholders is required.
And the collaboration must be at all levels, including in information gathering, policy-making, planning, establishment of regulations and investment. Currently, some cooperation exists, but it isn’t enough considering how important this issue is for the future of the state.
When a wide approach is taken, there may be financial benefits in both the short and long term as well. Working together may open up funding sources that were not available for use in flood management before. For achieving the flood management goals that are necessary for success, such an approach is important since current funding at most levels is inadequate at best.
At Orange Restoration, we’re in the flood damage repair and water damage restoration business, but we don’t want to see properties damaged unnecessarily when the damage could have been prevented by a smarter approach to flood management.
We’re a California company with a stake in what happens to our state over the long term. Working together, we believe it’s possible to solve longstanding problems in innovative new ways that benefit everyone with minimal negative impacts on anyone.
When emergency restoration is necessary – and it always will be – we’ll be there for you. But we genuinely hope that we never have to come help you clean up from a devastating flood event – especially one that could have been prevented by the establishment of the IWM plan and other initiatives that benefit the future of California as well as everyone and everything in it.
We can be reached 24/7 at (619) 376-6838.