California is preparing for another potential wet winter and is granting $95 million in funding for projects to repair levees, enhance flood diversion and recharge capacity, and support communities hit by record flooding this year.
The funding is in addition to the $40 million that was previously provided to the communities of Pajaro and Planada for flood relief this summer, including direct relief to residents and workers regardless of documentation and citizenship status.
The $95 million in funding includes:
- $67 million for California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to support critical repair of levees affected by the storms and flood diversion and recharge enhancements.
- $14 million to the State Water Resources Control Board to support domestic wells affected by flooding.
- $11.7 million in additional funding for the Storm Assistance for Immigrants project to support direct assistance to Californians experiencing hardship due to the storms from December 2022 through April 2023 and who are ineligible for federal assistance due to immigration status.
- $2.3 million to begin the next phase of a project to repair damage to the Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory in Tulare County operated by the University of California.
In addition to this funding, the state has been working to prepare California cities and counties for potential flooding this rainy season in other ways. Some of these efforts include:
- Coordination between DWR and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to ensure the state’s reservoirs have flood space available under a second year of flood conditions, and store as much water as possible;
- Support by DWR for forecast-informed reservoir operations (FIRO) assessments, which use improved weather and water forecasts to help reservoir operators decide when to release or hold water;
- Forecasting and warning data from tools and research developed by DWR and academic partners this year help keep partner agencies and the public up to date on potential flood threats during storms and inform emergency response efforts;
- Support from the State-Federal Flood Operations Center in pre-season emergency response coordination across the state to give local counties and communities the resources and training needed to respond to potential flooding.