DWR Awards $5 Million for Delta Communities to Improve Flood Emergency Response


California Department of Water Resources staff employ overtop protection on the levees at Grizzly Island in Solano County, Calif, January 13, 2017.

DWR staff employ overtop protection on the levees at Grizzly Island in Solano County, Calif, January 13, 2017.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced awarding $5 million in funding for seven emergency response agencies within the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to increase their ability to respond to flood emergencies. This funding will help to improve the emergency response efforts for first responders and help these communities prepare for threats of flooding in the Delta, which is increasingly vulnerable to flooding from storm events and sea level rise. 

Planning for flood emergencies should be a top priority even though California is in the middle of an extreme drought, with anticipation of a fourth dry year. Recent studies have shown California communities, especially in the Delta region, are at increased risk of flooding events due to climate change.

“DWR works with communities across the state to prevent flooding, but we must also be prepared to respond when flood emergencies put public safety at risk,” said Gary Lippner, DWR Deputy Director of Flood Management and Dam Safety. “This funding will help bolster emergency response efforts in flooding events, which may happen at any time.”

Today’s grant awards will provide funding to Delta emergency response agencies to develop flood safety plans, conduct training and emergency exercises, create and distribute flood fight materials and invest in communications equipment. Award recipients from today’s announcement include:

  • San Joaquin County: $1.6 million
  • Yolo County: $1.56 million
  • Bethel Island Municipal Improvement District: $462,000
  • Bradford Island Reclamation District 2059: $450,000
  • City of Sacramento: $306,000
  • Hotchkiss Tract Reclamation District 799: $305,000
  • City of Isleton: $250,000

A complete list of these grants and previous grant awards can be found on the Flood Emergency Response Projects Grants webpage.

Since 2012, DWR has awarded $50 million in flood emergency response grants to improve local flood emergency response and contribute to increasing public safety. Specifically for the Delta, DWR has awarded $30 million in grant funding over the last 10 years to Delta communities.

DWR is committed to providing hundreds of millions of dollars in grant funding to communities to respond to increases in extreme weather impacts as a result of our changing climate, whether it’s flooding or drought. Soon, DWR will announce funding awards totaling $85 million for emergency and long-term water resilience projects through the Small Community Drought Relief program and the Integrated Regional Water Management program. The selected projects will support strategies to improve regional resilience through water quality improvement, increased water supply and upgrades to aging infrastructure.

For communities still in need of assistance, DWR is currently accepting applications for the Urban Community Drought Relief program to support projects that build climate resiliency and emphasize water conservation efforts.