Alignment of public agencies across California is essential if the state and its officials are to chart a path toward success in managing California flood risks.
Perhaps more than at any time in the state’s history, flood management is at a crucial junction. Continuing down the pathway of fragmentation means poor planning, undependable funding and a narrow-minded approach to solving flood issues. Moving forward with an Integrated Water Management (IWM) plan, on the other hand, could mean more stability in funding, better public safety and other significant benefits.
Failing to make changes now could mean future flooding that’s catastrophic in nature and puts the lives and properties of millions at risk while risking environmental resources too. Unless you’ve seen the severe impact on homes, businesses and other property that can be caused by the effects of flood waters, it’s often hard to understand just how important the issue of flooding is for our state.
A complete and integrated water management program involves a four-pronged approach to flood management that includes:
- Tools. With better information and understanding of the problems related to flood management, public safety is enhanced and the other intended benefits of IWM are gained as well. Tools that everyone can use while working together include flood risk assessments. Short-term solutions need to be implemented as soon as possible while long-term actions are determined and pursued.
- Plans. It makes sense to work within an IWM approach when making flood management solutions from this point forward. This includes regional planning, which must be done as part of statewide policy and investment priority planning. With cooperation in planning, it may be possible to overcome barriers, reduce the administrative and regulatory burdens associated with operating, maintaining and improving flood benefits and develop truly integrated solutions with multiple benefits to the citizens of California and the environment.
- Actions. Striving for better alignment of flood management policies can make actions more efficient and effective. An IWM program can establish sensible financial priorities that will lead to better outcomes, better protection of citizens and better protection of property from flooding. With a fragmented approach, overlap of efforts creates waste. And some areas go completely unprotected. It seems we should be able to do better than that.
- Results. A document entitled California’s Flood Future outlines ways that measurable results related to managing flood risks can be established. These results can include:
- reduced risks and consequences associated with flooding
- better-informed decisions related to flood risk at the governmental, business and personal level
- protection of the ecosystem and preservation of the function of floodplains
- more benefits from protected funded by state and federal money
- better flood management control and policies
- setting of statewide flood management investment priority
- significant and stable funding for flood management projects
- and more.
It’s hard to imagine opposition to the four points laid out above, which seem like a commonsense approach to dealing with the issue of flooding in California.
As a San Diego restoration company, there’s little we at Orange Restoration can do about the causes of flooding or their control, but we do see the impact of flooding on people’s lives and businesses first hand.
The future of California is in the hands of elected officials, stakeholders of all kinds and the many agencies at all levels of government who must work together to prevent flooding and keep people out of its way whenever possible.
When we take care of people, our environment, our industries and everything else in our state, we’re doing what we can for a solid and economically stable future.
For help with flood damage in Southern California, call us at (619) 376-6838.