Sacramento Flood Threat Result of Bureaucratic Infighting?

Though that’s the gist of this September 2, 2012 editorial from the Sacramento Bee, it hardly represents the reality of why Sacramento is under threat of major flooding.

The reason Sacramento is under threat of major flooding is because we have not done what other major river cities have done, develop a 500 year level of flood protection.

Instead, most local public leadership are apparently satisfied with reaching a 200 year level, which is less than New Orleans had when Katrina hit.

One project that will give Sacramento a doubling of flood protection from 200 years to 400 years is building the Auburn Dam, which Congressman Tom McClintock wrote about in a April 17, 2011 Sacramento Bee article: “The Auburn dam would provide 400-year flood protection for the Sacramento Delta, store 2.3 million acre-feet of cold, clean water that can be released during hot, dry periods – enough water to fill an acre to a depth of 435 miles – generate enough clean, cheap and reliable electricity to power nearly a million homes and create a major new recreational lake for the region.”

An excerpt from the September 2, 2012 Bee editorial.

“To secure Sacramento’s future, there is no more important issue than flood control. Few cities in the United States face such a threat of catastrophic inundation. To prevent a Katrina in California’s state capital, federal, state and local flood-control agencies must have a healthy working relationship. Thousands of lives depend upon it.

“Over the last several months and years, that relationship has deteriorated. The reasons are complex, and it’s unclear if any one agency is the bad guy. But if these bureaucratic conflicts continue, it will set back efforts to protect Sacramento and many other communities in the Central Valley.

“We need a peace treaty among the bureaucrats, and it can’t come soon enough.”

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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