Lower Elkhorn Basin Levee Setback Project

Picture of Lower Elkhorn Basin, Sacramento Weir and Bypass, Sacramento River, and Yolo Bypass

View of the Sacramento Weir, Yolo Bypass, and a portion of the Lower Elkhorn Basin (right side of photo)

The Lower Elkhorn Basin Levee Setback (LEBLS) Project is the first phase of implementation of recommendations from the 2012 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (CVFPP) and associated studies carried out by the Department of Water Resources. The project will contribute to the CVFPP goals of providing improved public safety for approximately 780,000 people by:

  • Reducing river levels (stages) in the Sacramento River
  • Increasing the capacity of the Yolo and Sacramento Bypasses near the urban communities of Sacramento and West Sacramento, as well as rural communities, Woodland, and Clarksburg

The improvements would also provide:

  • System resiliency
  • Opportunities to improve ecosystem functions, such as:
    • Increasing inundated floodplain habitat for fish rearing
    • Improving the connection to the Sacramento Bypass Wildlife Area

The project consists of approximately 7 miles of setback levees in the Lower Elkhorn Basin along the east side of the Yolo Bypass, and the north side of the Sacramento Bypass. The project will:

  • Remove all or portions of the existing levees that will be set back
  • Remove portions of local reclamation district cross levees
  • Improve or relocate related infrastructure

DWR is coordinating closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Central Valley Flood Protection Board (CVFPB), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to obtain the permits needed for this project. DWR is also coordinating with local reclamation districts and land use agencies on specific infrastructure relocation and improvements. Some of the infrastructure work will be carried out by local agencies.

Final EIR Certified

The final Lower Elkhorn Basin Levee Setback Project Environmental Impact Report (EIR) has been released and certified. The Draft EIR/EIS was released for public review and comment in May 2018 and a public meeting was held in West Sacramento in June 2018.