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Channel Evaluation and Rehabilitation Program

Administrating Agency: Resources Agency
Bond: Proposition 1E
Department Name: Department of Water Resources
Bond Statute: 5096.821
Implementing Statute:

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

The Flood Maintenance Office (FMO) is developing a Strategic Implementation Plan that ties the goals of its programs to maintain elements of the flood control system to the mission and statutory obligations of the department and the objectives of FloodSAFE.  Projects selected for bond funding (as well as those receiving funds from the General Fund) are to be consistent with the FMO Strategic Implementation Plan.  



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


Sections 8361 and 12648 of the California Water Code give DWR the authority to maintain the Project .  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 1E Chapter 1.699, Article 4, Section 5096.821(a) provides for the use of bond funds for repairing erosion sites and removing sediment from channels or bypasses.


The Corps prepares for each unit of the Project maintenance standards to which the State must follow in operating and maintaining channels, levees and other Project features.  Additional maintenance and inspection standards for levees maintained by the State are found in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 33, Section 208.10, Levees, Channels, Floodways and Associated Structures; the Corps’ Levee Owner’s Manual for Non-Federal Flood Control Works, March 2006; and the 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, that vegetation be controlled on levees to allow visual inspection of levee integrity and flood fighting; and that vegetation be controlled at the landside toe of levees to allow for inspection of 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 FMO 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, projects undertaken by the FMO 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


Projects are selected for funding based on the severity of potential impacts from flooding, or operation and maintenance demands placed on Maintenance Yard crews due to existing conditions.  Removal of sediment from Fremont Weir, Tisdale Weir, and Sycamore Creek are examples of non-routine projects that are applicable to Bond 1E Chapter 1.699, Article 4, Section 5096.821(a).


Future identified projects that will be receiving Proposition 1E funds that meet these criteria include Sycamore Creek Diversion Channel Erosion Study (which should limit the need for future sediment removal projects in Sycamore Creek) and Bear River sediment removal.  Other projects will be identified through the inspection programs and channel flow capacity evaluations previously described.


Compliance and Reporting

Contracts prepared by the FMO describe plans and specifications of the work to be performed.  Inspectors within the department and outside consultants monitor work progress and provide inspection reports to project managers.  These reports are used by the project managers to ensure that the work complies with contract requirements. Once completed, the projects are maintained as part of the flood control system maintenance stipulated in Section 8361 of the Water Code.

Project costs are reviewed prior to award of bond funds to ensure they are eligible costs.  In addition, all contracts for professional services (and their task orders), and all construction contracting performed by the Division of Engineering, are reviewed by the Department of General Services to ensure compliance with State contracting procedures. 


In addition, the Department has organized a FloodSAFE Program Management Office to document policies and procedures for bond accountability.  Project budget and expenditures are tracked and reported to the public via the Department’s bond accountability web site.

Non-routine maintenance projects selected for funding must 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 are in place:


·         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 and schedules.  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.


A post-construction report is completed following completion of a project.  The report summarizes the activities that took place to achieve the project goals and 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.


·         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.