SOURCE: Department of Water Resources

September 15, 2008 16:49 ET

DWR Produces New Advisory Floodplain Maps

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - September 15, 2008) - The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released new advisory floodplain maps for Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley cities and counties.

"Many of the existing flood maps do not reflect the most accurate information about the flooding potential," said DWR Director Lester Snow. "The new DWR floodplain maps will help provide a better understanding of the true risk of flooding to public safety and property."

The maps are available at

Last year, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 5 (Machado) to increase flood protection and raise awareness to avert future flood disasters. One of the bill's requirements was for DWR to update Central Valley flood maps, using the best available information on flood risk factors.

The new maps, compiled using information from state, local and federal agencies, have no regulatory status for floodplain development and are for information only. They do not replace existing Federal Emergency Management Agency regulatory floodplain maps and therefore do not make any changes in federal flood insurance requirements for homes and businesses. However, city and county governments will be able to use the maps to identify areas that warrant further study and to help make informed land use decisions.

Improving California's flood protection system is a high priority for Gov. Schwarzenegger. In February 2006, he declared a State of Emergency for California's levee system. In November 2006, California voters responded to this important challenge by approving Propositions 1E and 84, providing nearly $5 billion in state bond funds for flood control projects statewide.

DWR is now engaged in an unprecedented effort to evaluate 350 miles of urban levees and 1,250 miles of non-urban levees for hidden defects. DWR has also awarded $211 million for four high priority early implementation projects in Sacramento County (Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, Natomas Levee Improvement Program), Sutter County (Lower Feather River Setback Levee at Star Bend) and Yuba County (Bear River North Levee Rehabilitation Project and the Feather River Setback Levee).

The advisory maps will help communities begin early planning activities to meet SB 5 requirements calling for a minimum of 200-year protection for new development in urban and urbanizing areas. DWR is conducting a number of studies that may lead to further revisions of the floodplain maps over the next two to four years.

The Department of Water Resources operates and maintains the State Water Project, provides dam safety and flood control and inspection services, assists local water districts in water management and water conservation planning, and plans for future statewide water needs.

Contact Information

  • Contacts:

    Elizabeth Scott
    Public Affairs Office
    (916) 835-5344
    Email Contact

    Ricardo Pineda
    Chief, DWR Floodplain Management Branch
    (916) 812-4546
    Email Contact