Skip to Main Content
Contact Us

Channel Evaluation and Rehabilitation Program

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

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

The Governor of the State of California issued Executive Order S-02-07 requiring all agencies to be accountable for ensuring that bond proceeds are spent efficiently, effectively and in the best interests of the people of the State of California.  To implement this accountability, each department needed to establish and document a three-part accountability structure for bond expenditures that includes Front-end Accountability, In-Progress Accountability, and Follow-up Accountability.  The Department of Water Resources’ Flood Maintenance Office developed the following guidelines for the Channel Maintenance Program which utilizes bond funds with the purpose of increasing transparency and accountability with Executive Order S-02-07.

1.  Front-End Accountability


A Strategic Implementation Plan is in development for the Flood Maintenance Office that ties the goals of the programs to the mission of the department, the objectives of FloodSAFE, and the statutory obligations of DWR for maintenance of elements of the flood control system.  The Strategic Implementation Plan, currently in the final draft stage, defines the Flood Maintenance Office’s purpose, goals, objectives, program elements, program components, strategies, priorities, and overall schedule and budget.  It also describes detailed activities and measurable objectives under each of the composite program elements, and provides strategic program direction for the Flood Maintenance Office.  Projects selected for bond funding (as well as those receiving General Funds) are to be consistent with the Flood Maintenance Office’s Strategic Implementation Plan.   



The Flood Maintenance Office maintains portions of the Sacramento River Flood Control Project (Project) to fulfill the assurances provided to the federal government by the State that the Project, which the federal government constructed and turned over to the State for operation and maintenance, will be adequately maintained.  A Memorandum of Understanding was executed in November 1953 between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the State of California that describes the State’s responsibility for maintaining the Project features.


The authority for DWR to maintain the Project is included in Sections 8361 and 12648 of the California Water Code.  Project features covered in the authority include river channels, hydraulic control structures, designated levees, and ancillary structures.  (Levees not designated as State responsibility are maintained by local maintaining agencies.)  Bond 84 Chapter 3, Section 75032(d) provides for the use of bond funds for environmental mitigation and infrastructure costs related to projects that improves the Department’s emergency response capability.


Maintenance standards that the federal government obligates the State to adhere to for channels, levees and other Project features are described in operation and maintenance manuals that the Corps of Engineers prepares for each unit of the Project before they turn the completed Project feature over to the State for operation and maintenance.  Additional maintenance and or inspection standards for levees that the State maintains are found in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 33 Section 208.10 Levees, Channels, Floodways and Associated Structures; Corps of Engineers Levee Owner’s Manual for Non-Federal Flood Control Works, March 2006; and Department of Water Resources Vegetation Criteria for Standard Levees, October 2007.  Channel and levee maintenance standards generally require that channels be cleared of vegetation, debris and sediments so that design flood flows can be conveyed by channels; vegetation be controlled on levees to allow visual inspection of levee integrity and flood fighting; and vegetation be controlled at the landside toe of levees to allow inspection for seepage.  All maintenance projects must meet these standards in order to be eligible for Bond funding and federal rehabilitation assistance (PL84-99).




Initially, projects undertaken by the Flood Maintenance Office are based on a backlog of deferred maintenance.  In addition to continuing to work on deferred maintenance, new projects are identified through a number of inspection programs.  These include inspection programs for levees, channels, bridges, hydraulic structures, and utilities.  Inspections are conducted to comply with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Code of Federal Regulations (33 CFR 208.10) and the National Levee Safety Program.


In addition to complying with maintenance guidelines and manuals developed by the Corps of Engineers, projects undertaken by the Flood Maintenance Office must comply with various permits and agreements from agencies such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Section 404 Clean Water Act and Section 10 Rivers and Harbors Act), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Endangered Species Act), California Department of Fish and Game (1600 Streambed Alternation Agreement and Endangered Species Act), Central Valley Flood Protection Board (Encroachment Permit), Water Resources Control Board (401 Clean Water Act), Regional Water Quality Control Board (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit and Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements), State Historic Preservation Officer (Archeological Resource and National Historic Preservation Acts), Native American Heritage Commission, State Lands Commission, and must also comply with the California Environmental Quality Act.


Project Selection

Routine maintenance of levees, channels and hydraulic control structures are performed by crews from the Sacramento and Sutter Maintenance Yards and is funded by baseline allocations from the General Fund.  However, some maintenance activities are beyond the technical capabilities of the Maintenance Yards or require more resources than they can provide.  These non-routine maintenance activities are funded primarily by Proposition 1E funds.  As indicated, Proposition 84 funding was used for costs associated with environmental mitigation and infrastructure costs related to projects that improves the Department’s emergency response capability.  In the past, AB 142 funds and Proposition 50 funds were also used for the non-routine maintenance activities.  Examples of non-routine maintenance include large sediment removal projects and environmental restoration projects that fulfill mitigation requirements for non-routine maintenance projects.


Due to reductions in General Funds allocated for Project maintenance during the 1990s and early 2000s, a backlog of deferred maintenance projects was created.  The Flood Maintenance Office received a significant increase in baseline General Funds in FY 2006 that provided the resources for new equipment, chemical pesticides, fuel and lubricants, contracts with other State agencies for additional field crews, and new Maintenance Yard field crew positions to significantly expand yearly maintenance activities.   General Fund allocations are also used to initiate the planning, design, and permitting for some of the backlogged maintenance projects.   In FY 2007, AB 142 funds also became available to help fund these backlogged projects.  After passage of Propositions 1E and 84, these funds have been used for non-routine projects.


The Executive Order requires ongoing activities to be reviewed, documented and reported to the Department of Finance.   The non-routine maintenance projects selected for funding must also conform to the intended use of Propositions 1E and 84 and measures must be instituted to ensure that the scope of the project remains within the intended use of the funds.  To that end, the following procedures have been instituted:


·         A project scope and description is developed at the initiation of the project that is consistent with the intended use of the bonds.  A project cost estimate and schedule is also developed;


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


·         Project updates are submitted for inclusion with the quarterly reports that DWR submits on bond expenditures and any changes in scope, cost or schedule are reflected on the website maintained for projects funded by Proposition 1E and 84;


·         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.


Project managers track project budgets using the SAP database.  Schedules are tracked using Microsoft Project software.  Project managers work with environmental support staff to ensure that the proper environmental permits have been obtained and permit conditions are met, coordinate with staff from the Division of Engineering to make sure the engineering designs meet the needs of the project, work with the Construction Office during project construction to address any issues that arise and also coordinate with the Maintenance Yards that may be impacted during construction, and provide monthly briefings on project status to the Branch and Office Chiefs.  Project managers may also be required to coordinate with other Divisions for legal, right-of-way and environmental support.  Project managers are also responsible for monitoring and approving all funding sources and payments.  Invoices are approved for contractors and sub-contractors only after all requirements are met.

Following completion of a project a Post Construction Report is completed.  This report summarizes the activities that took place to achieve the project goals.  The Post Construction Report becomes part of the Project Close-Out Report.  The Project Close-Out Report includes all the documents referenced in the Post Construction Report and provides a consistent method to file important project documents following project completion.  The section of the report covering the budget includes a summary of project funding sources, and cost centers and internal order numbers used to track expenditures.


The following internal audit is conducted with the Project Close-Out:


·         Before the final payment is made, project managers verify the final project complies with all applicable current laws and regulations and submit documents summarizing total project costs and additional funding sources.


·         The final project report submitted upon completion of the project must include photographs of the before-project condition, planning and restoration activities and, if applicable, techniques used to achieve restoration, and post-project completion condition.


·         All projects doing repair work on levees will receive a close-out visit conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and DWR to assure that the project is completed consistent with federal principles and guidelines.


·         Any flood control projects governed under Section 12832 of the California Water Code have a final audit of expenditure claims by the State Controller’s Office.


·         All projects funded via the Integrated Regional Water Management Grant program receive a close-out visit conducted by the DWR at the time the project is complete and prior to releasing final grant funds.


·         Project managers conduct in-progress and post construction/implementation monitoring and assess project performance.


The Flood Maintenance Office is working closely with Department of Finance to ensure accountability and projects financed under Prop 84 and 1E have been posted to the Bond Accountability Website so the public is provided readily accessible information on how proceeds of state general obligation bonds are being utilized.