USACE feasibility studies determine the federal government’s level of participation and the viability of proposed improvements to the State-federal flood management system, known as State Plan of Flood Control (SPFC). The studies are undertaken as a partnership between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the State as represented by the Central Valley Flood Protection Board (CVFPB) and, when appropriate, local agencies. A feasibility study is initiated when a local sponsor asks USACE to conduct a study. The local sponsor can be:
- A local agency, such as a Joint Powers Agency or Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency
- A city
- A county
- The State of California, represented by the CVFPB.
Purpose of these Studies
The purpose of a study is to recommend a plan to improve an SPFC facility and determine the level of federal participation. When federal interest is found in a recommended plan, the USACE will cost-share (up to 65 percent) with the non-federal sponsors to construct the proposed flood improvements. The level of federal interest is determined by a benefit to cost ratio. The greatest potential for developing a positive benefit to cost ratio exists in urban areas where flood risk reduction benefits to people, property, and the environment offset the high cost of flood infrastructure improvements.
USACE feasibility studies have identified $5.8 billion dollars of flood improvements to protect:
- 2.4 million people
- $122 billion of assets
- 519,000 acres of vital habitat within the Central Valley.
After completion of a feasibility study, the United States Congress can authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to implement flood system improvements to the State Plan of Flood Control (SPFC). Authorized projects depend on annual federal appropriations to fund design and construction activities. USACE partners with the Central Valley Flood Protection Board (CVFPB), DWR, and local flood control agencies to construct the SPFC improvement projects, which are funded with federal (65 percent) and State and local (35 percent) dollars to:
- Improve flood protection for urban or urbanizing areas
- Reduce flood risk in rural areas
- Reduce the risk to life, infrastructure, and property
On behalf of the CVFPB, DWR oversees the project implementation activities, such as:
- Acquisition of project lands and rights of way
- Cost-sharing agreements
- Environmental planning and compliance Construction
- Invoice payments
- Project close out
We work with the USACE project team to ensure that State flood management needs and mandates are met. We also provide required non-federal cost share funds and technical assistance to repair or upgrade the Central Valley’s flood management systems.