Changing Climate, Shift to More Extreme Weather Intensify Risk of Flooding in California


Central Valley Flood Protection Plan 2022 Update

Central Valley Flood Protection Plan 2022

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California’s shift to a hotter and drier climate is intensifying flood risk across the state and demands action, even during ongoing drought. With warmer temperatures, California needs to be prepared for more extreme flood events brought on by storms producing more rain than snow.


Today, the Central Valley Flood Protection Board approved the 2022 Update to the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (CVFPP) which outlines improved flood management and infrastructure investments to significantly reduce flood risk especially in the most vulnerable communities of the Central Valley.


The CVFPP is a strategic roadmap for flood management in the Central Valley. The 2022 Update, developed by the Department of Water Resources (DWR), outlines a suite of recommended actions and clear opportunities to reduce flood risk especially in the San Joaquin River basin.


The plan identifies $3 billion in needed investments over the next five years for actions such as implementing forecast-informed reservoir operations and expanding flood bypasses and floodplains with restored habitats. These actions will significantly reduce climate-driven, extreme flood events by improving aging infrastructure and bringing new tools to the table for watershed improvement in the Central Valley.


“This plan outlines the importance of local and federal partnerships with the State to fund critical projects to reduce flood risk in the Central Valley,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “The climate threat is intensifying, and we need to take bold and innovative actions to protect life and property, especially in underserved and vulnerable communities.”


More broadly, the CVFPP takes a systemwide approach to flood management, outlining specific actions and policies to guide the State’s investments and partnerships in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River basins in the decades to come. In the Plan, the State calls for investing $25 billion to $30 billion in Central Valley flood management over the next 30 years to close the significant funding gap between flood system resilience and increased risk.


“Climate change brings an ever-increasing threat of catastrophic flooding in the Central Valley,” said Board President Jane Dolan. “The 2022 CVFPP Update makes clear that outpacing climate challenges requires unprecedented collaboration and consistent funding for projects that help protect our communities.” 


Three central themes are woven throughout the 2022 CVFPP Update:

  • Building flood system climate resiliency
  • Aligning strategically with other State water management planning efforts
  • Increasing accountability through performance tracking and transparency


The 2022 CVFPP Update priorities align with Governor Newsom’s “California’s Water Supply Strategy: Adapting to a Hotter, Drier Future,” which identified the actions needed to adapt to a rapidly changing climate. As California experiences warmer temperatures, droughts will be more frequent and intense, but so will flood events as warmer storms bring more rain than snow, increasing the risk of extreme flooding. The Plan also considers that underserved and vulnerable communities bear disproportionate risk and consequences of flooding, and outlines recommendations to advance equity in flood management planning, decision-making, and implementation.


Development of the 2022 CVFPP Update was informed by a robust, multi-year communications and engagement process that involved frequent discussions with State, federal, Tribal, regional, and local partners. The Public Draft of the 2022 CVFPP Update was released on April 21, 2022, launching a 45-day public comment period. During this time, the Board hosted three public hearings to receive verbal comments on the Plan. Beginning in July, the Board hosted three workshops to address comments received through the public forum process. These comments provided the Board with information for considering revisions to the Plan.


Since 2012, the CVFPP has been updated by DWR every five years and presented for adoption by the Board. After the plan is adopted, it is used as a guide for the State’s investment in flood management programs. Updates to the CVFPP build on information in previous versions and incorporate new information about flood management needs, advancements in the best available science, and new policy considerations. Each iteration of the CVFPP also updates the State Systemwide Investment Approach (SSIA), which guides the State’s investment in programs and projects to improve flood management in the Central Valley.


The 2022 CVFPP Update and related materials are in English. For language access requests, please contact


For more information and to access the package of CVFPP materials adopted by the Board, visit


Jason Ince, Information Officer, Department of Water Resources

(916) 820-8138 |

Ruth Darling, Program Manager, Central Valley Flood Protection Board
(916) 224-4943 |