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Flood Emergency Response Program

Administrating Agency: Resources Agency
Bond: Proposition 84
Department Name: Department of Water Resources
Bond Statute: 75032, 75033
Implementing Statute:

  • Front-end
  • In-Progress
  • Follow-up


The Department is the lead State agency for flood emergency response, including flood fight assistance, in California.  The Flood Operations Center (FOC) serves as the Department’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and leads the flood emergency operations response.  While the California Emergency Services Act reaffirms the authority of the Governor’s California Emergency Management Agency to “coordinate and supervise State action upon a declaration of a State emergency,” California Water Code Section 128(a) describes the Department’s separate, permissive authority.

The California Emergency Services Act, specifically Government Code Section 8607, provides the Department with broad authority to fully participate in all aspects of emergency response within the Standardized Emergency Management System structure.  In addition, Proposition 84 Section 75032 provides for the use of bond funds for the Emergency Response program improvements.

Strategic Work Plan for Improving Emergency Response Program

The Flood Emergency Response Program is designed to enhance data collection, storage, and dissemination; flood forecasting and warning; system evaluation, flood control system documentation and tracking; flood preparedness, training and exercises; and flood response, flood fight, and recovery. The objective is to save lives and reduce flood damage and recovery time. Among other deliverables, the Program is formulated to ensure the FloodSAFE California “Critical Success Factor” to “improve analytical tools and data management system to develop, archive, and share new information as it becomes available” is achieved.

The Department prepared a Strategic Work Plan for implementation of the Flood Emergency Response Program. To prepare the Strategic Work Plan, the Department reviewed existing flood emergency response programs and improvements recommended by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) “Enhanced Flood Response and Emergency Preparedness” Program and incorporated the Corps’ recommendations into the Department’s Strategic Work Plan for improving emergency response in California.  Projects were selected based on the needs identified in the Strategic Work Plan. The Strategic Work Plan formulates program objectives, deliverables, and performance measures, and identifies five projects that would contribute to the improvement of flood emergency response in California.

The baseline program activities are supported through the General Fund. The program improvement needed will be funded under Proposition 84.

Performance Standards


The Strategic Work Plan outlines “Performance Measures” and defines specific deliverables and objectives. Quarterly review of work in progress will include review of the work performed to ensure project implementation outcome is consistent with the defined performance standards established for the project.

Program Objectives

The Program aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Inspect, understand, and document the flood control system’s status and deficiencies
  • Preserve the State’s investment in data collection, model development, and other tools that are prepared for FloodSAFE California through development of an integrated flood information system
  • Improve the Flood Emergency Response Program by:

-                      Integrating flood emergency response into the local agencies’ emergency response plans

-                      Updating the Department’s Flood Emergency Operations Plan

-                      Developing and implementing an effective flood emergency response training program, including flood fight training and flood emergency exercises, for Department and local agency staff

-                      Upgrading the FOC to enable effective management of major flood events including upgrading/modernizing FOC equipment and tools

  • Improve tools (i.e., forecasting models, data management) and processes (i.e., flood warning, notifications, and reservoir operations) that can improve timing, reliability, and accuracy of flood warnings
  • Coordinate reservoir operations during major floods
  • Design and implement a decision support system based on five-day advanced forecasts for effective flood management of reservoirs with flood control reservations in the Central Valley    
  • Support emergency communication infrastructure in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta                                                                    


The projects listed under the Flood Emergency Response Program will be implemented in collaboration with local emergency responders, local maintaining agencies, reservoir operators, the Governor’s California Emergency Management Agency, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Extensive working group meetings will be scheduled throughout implementation of the program to ensure stakeholders’ input is sought.

Compliance & Reporting

The Department will report its bond expenditures to the public via the Web site.  It will also report on its expenditures to the legislature

The following in-progress accountability procedures have been instituted:


·       The project scope and descriptions are developed and reviewed to ensure consistency with the intended use of the bonds.

·       The Strategic Work Plan includes project schedules and deliverables. Throughout the project implementation, progress will be checked against the Strategic Work Plan’s schedule, scope of work, and deliverables to ensure projects stay on schedule and on budget.

·       Monthly briefings are conducted at the Office level to review progress.  This includes project expenditures, accomplishments, changes in scope, and current schedule.

·       Project updates are submitted for inclusion with the quarterly reports that the Department submits on bond expenditures, and any changes in scope, cost, or schedule should be reflected on the bond accountability website maintained for projects funded by Propositions 1E and 84.

·       A program tracking system has been developed to monitor work in progress and to track the expenditures for each project on a monthly basis. A semi-annual progress report will be prepared to show work in progress as well as project expenditures.

·       Bond funding is requested from the Department of Finance based on quarterly cash flow projections provided by the project manager and compiled within the Department for all programs.


The financial status (expenditures and commitments) will be tracked at the project/grant level in the Department’s financial system, called SAP.  The Department will utilize “funded program numbers” and structured “internal order cost objects” to track detailed information down to the individual projects or grants.  The use of these elements within SAP will enable the Department to also track multiple funding associated with a single project or grant; however, expenditures of funds not controlled by the Department should be tracked by the managing agency.

Periodic updates will be made to the website to ensure the program 3-part accountability write-ups and project information is current.  These updates will be made no less than semi-annually and will be submitted to the Department of Finance and posted on the public website.

As stated above, during project implementation, regular meetings will be conducted with cooperative agencies to ensure projects move forward according to the established scope of work, schedule, and budget, and are consistent with processes that have been established in the Strategic Work Plan.  The goal will be to make sure the final project deliverables are consistent with the deliverables defined in the Strategic Work Plan and meet the intended results.

A project tracking system has been developed to track the work in progress, project expenditures, progress made, and project status.  Department managers will use the tracking system to ensure the projects move forward as consistent with front-end criteria and processes, and that project implementation will achieve the intended outcomes.

Each Project Manager will be responsible for project monitoring and ensuring the outcome of the projects match those incorporated in the contracts in the form of specific contract deliverables.  (Note, the Prime contractor is required to pass the terms of the prime contract to the sub-contractors, as applicable.)

The Project Manager will review the invoices and the progress reports describing what work has been completed by the contractor to ensure payments are consistent with work performed on the project.  The same Project Manager who is responsible for the project monitoring and reporting will also be responsible for authorizing the payments.  Routing sheets will be used to distribute contractor progress reports and invoice information to the Project Managers for review and approval of payment.

The Project Manager will review all deliverables and the completion report submitted by the contractor. The manager will then compare those items with the deliverables stated in the contract to ensure the project has achieved all intended outcomes and deliverables before approving the final payment to the contractor.

Following completion of the project, the Project Manger will oversee a close-out audit which includes:  a project completion report that documents the project deliverables, final expenditures, and how the project implementation met the project objectives and performance measures.  The content of all deliverables will be checked against the description of deliverables listed in the contract before final payment is approved.

The Program Manager will provide oversight and coordination between the Project Managers.

Offices within the Department will work with the staff of Flood Program Management Office to ensure accountability and projects financed under Prop 84 or Prop 1E have been posted to the Bond Accountability Website - allowing the public ready access to information on how proceeds of the State’s general obligation bonds are being utilized. 

The Natural Resources Agency will obtain an independent audit of the bonds through the annual Department of Finance, Office of State Audits and Evaluations (OSAE) audit of bond expenditures.