The Water Resources Reform and Development Act authorizes levee improvements that would protect vulnerable areas of the 3rd district and provide an economic boost.
“The Sutter Basin project provides essential flood protection for the lives, well-being, and property of nearly 100,000 residents. Now that it has a Chief’s Report, I am pleased to announce that this vital project has cleared a major hurdle,” said Congressman Garamendi. “For the past two years, the Sutter Basin project has been a top priority of my office. Working with Congressman LaMalfa and a bipartisan coalition on the local and federal level, we were able to partner with the Corps in moving it forward.”
The Sutter Basin is a 326-square-mile leveed area with a population around 95,000 people, encircled by historic project levees of the Sacramento River Flood Control Project (SRFCP), which was initially authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1917.
Historically the Sutter Basin communities have experienced several flood events with loss of life and continuing floodfight through every flood season.
“They say good things come to those who wait, but when it comes to improving our levees, that’s not at all true,” Garamendi added. “It is unwise to wait to improve Northern California’s fragile levees, because if our levees fail, it could wreak havoc on California’s water supply and economy and put thousands of lives and homes in jeopardy.”
In addition to increasing public safety, the Sutter Basin Flood Protection Project aims to save property owners tens of millions each year in mandatory flood insurance costs, maintain the rights of property owner and to sustain and grow the local economy by creating construction jobs, protecting property values, and allowing for responsible residential, commercial and industrial development.
Mike Inamine, Executive Director of the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency said, “This summer we continue construction of the longest, ongoing levee slurry wall in the country, putting hundreds of people to work and minimizing flood risks for residents of the Sutter-Butte Basin. This important public safety project is testament to the Corps’ new way of working with local communities and we are pleased that the Basin was selected to be at the forefront of these modernization efforts. This action brings us one step closer towards securing full federal approval and we are grateful to our congressional delegation for being strong champions of this project.”
Garamendi added, “After inclusion in WRDA, I will push for the Sutter Basin project to receive adequate funding. These levees will save lives and are cost-effective. I am committed to moving this past the finish line.”
The Army Corps of Engineers estimates that every $1 invested into flood protection produces $7 in benefits. ■