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Flood forecasting and flood operations have been integral functions of DWR and its preceding agencies for more than a century. Today, DWR is working to protect the public from dangerous flooding and create sustainable, integrated flood management and emergency response systems throughout California.

In 2005, DWR issued a white paper entitled “Flood Warnings: Responding to California’s Flood Crisis,” that outlined the flood problems that California faces and offered specific recommendations for administrative action and legislative changes. Since that time, California has begun the long process to improve flood management systems – investing heavily to complete emergency repairs quickly near several high-risk urban areas, informing the public about flood risks, enacting significant new laws, and providing funds to lead a sustained effort to improve flood management statewide. In 2006, California voters approved two bonds, Proposition 1E and Proposition 84 which provided more than $5 billion in funding to meet long term flood protection goals.

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Improving Flood Management in the Central Valley

Flood Management

The Division of Flood Management performs the functions of statewide flood forecasting, flood operations, and other key flood emergency response activities. The Division includes the Hydrology and Flood Operations Office, the Delta-Suisun Marsh Office, the Flood Projects Office, the Levee Repairs and Floodplain Management Office, and the Flood Maintenance Office.

More about Division of Flood Management programs

FloodSAFE California

The FloodSAFE California Program partners with local, regional, state, tribal, and federal officials in creating sustainable, integrated flood management and emergency response systems throughout California.

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Levee Repairs

Repairs to the state and federal project levees are conducted under the Levee Repairs Program. To date, nearly 300 levee repair sites have been identified, with more than 100 of the most critical sites having already been completed. The program is funded by Section 821 of the Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention Bond Act of 2006 (Proposition 1E).

More information on Levee Repairs

Central Valley Flood Management Program

Historically, the Central Valley has experienced California’s largest and most damaging floods with devastating effects on life and property and the state’s economy. The two most recent large floods in the region, in 1986 and 1997, together caused more than $1 billion in damage. The draft Central Valley Flood Protection Plan, released in 2012, represents a system wide approach to improving flood management for the State and federal levee system in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys.

More about the Central Valley Flood Management Program


The California Data Exchange Center (CDEC) installs, maintains, and operates an extensive hydrologic data collection network including automatic snow reporting gages for the Cooperative Snow Surveys Program and precipitation and river stage sensors for flood forecasting. CDEC provides a centralized location to store and process real-time hydrologic information gathered by various cooperators throughout the State. CDEC disseminates this information to the cooperators, public and private agencies, and news media.

More about CDEC

Statewide Flood Management Planning Program

The Statewide Flood Management Planning Program is led by DWR in collaboration with local, state and federal agencies and tribes throughout California. The program will help guide decisions about policies and financial investments related to integrated flood management.

All Flood and Safety Topics