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A River in Crisis

Communities Threatened: A Look at the Real Issues Surrounding Our Flood Control System


      While the Department of Water Resources is successfully repairing the levees, other parts of the flood control system need equal and ongoing attention. Our forefathers realized it was not practical to build levees high enough or place them far enough apart to contain the maximum flows, so they designed a system to maintain the maximum carrying capacity of the river using a variety of tools, which included dams, weirs and bypasses. To maintain the carrying capacity level of this system, it was imperative to keep the system free of obstructions, such as debris and vegetation, so they not only maintained the levees but dredged and pulled large woody debris from the river. Today, it is incumbent on us to return the system to its original design capacity and then maintain the flood control system, to operate this major water way to benefit all; including urban and rural communities, and our environment.

      We are trying to educate everyone in the hopes that you will understand that flood safety will require all of us working together to return the whole system to its designed flood carrying capacity. It is important to understand that the whole system is interconnected and we must work to maintain all of its components: the dams, weirs, bypasses, and levees. Californian’s living in communities along the Sacramento River need to know that they will be affected by what happens upstream, no matter how far north it happens.


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