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I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the important issue of innovation and investment in water resources infrastructure.
About the District
I am the General Manager-Chief Engineer for
The District was formed following the devastating floods of 1938, when the
Following the torrential 1938
Early Innovative Partnerships and the Benefits of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018
The budding partnership between the
I would like to thank
Ongoing and Increasingly Complicated Challenges Require Federal Infrastructure Assistance Although we are making amazing progress on the
We are an experienced local sponsor with a comprehensive flood management program that: 1). Identifies flood hazards, 2). regulates floodplains and promotes orderly development with regard to flood risk management, 3). provides education and outreach for flood prevention and safety, 4). provides for the construction of approximately
Examples of Projects and Challenges An important and major example of an innovative project that we are actively engaged with the Corps on in
The heart of the project, however, is flood control and the project will protect nearly 600 structures worth
The District is also finding that its older infrastructure is being challenged by changing environmental and climate conditions. For example, one of the District's earliest Corps partnerships was the construction of the Santa Ana River Levees in the 1950s. In 2010, portions of the 5-mile long levees were damaged by flooding from an atmospheric river event. The levees were covered by the Corps PL84-99 program, but the extent of damages exceeded the Corps ability to fund repairs under their annual Presidential Budget allotment for the PL84-99 program. The project languished until the 2018 BBA provided much needed funding to support to PL84-99.
With funding in hand, the Corps studied the levees and determined that changes in design standards since the 1950's meant that the levee system is insufficient to address expected river scour. More stringent environmental regulations will also play heavily into the design and operation of the levee system restoration project. The cost to fix the damaged segments, representing about half the levee length, is estimated at
Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not mention the
We thank the
While the state has outlined a 10-year restoration plan that identifies shovel-ready projects, including projects along the
Environmental Protection Act. This bill authorizes the first significant federal investment for the Sea since 1998. However, HR 8775 needs federal appropriations for enactment. Quick action is vital for the health and welfare of the residents near the Salton Sea as the environmental catastrophe increases day by day.
Communities Throughout the Nation have Similar Projects that Could Benefit from an Influx of Federal Support. These are just three of many worthy projects in southern
Flood Risk Reduction Projects Often Provide Extended Benefits to the Community and Nation
Our experience in
Often, stated benefits of a project in a Feasibility Report underrepresent the economic and social potential of the project. For example, the 240-acre
There are Also Opportunities to Leverage the Capabilities of Local Sponsors to
Closing In summary, we believe that the Corps public works flood risk reduction role has never been more important. Changing climactic factors are enhancing the risk of flooding throughout our nation and challenging the resources and capabilities of local agencies. Corps partnered projects promote the health and safety of our residents, promote the protection of national economic resources, and provide the opportunity to pursue innovated projects that can lift the overall livability, sustainability, and resilience of our communities. This process works best when the Local Sponsor and the Corps work together as true partners in planning and implementing flood risk reduction projects so as to maximally benefit from the capabilities of each partner.
It is our experience that there are many incredibly valuable shovel-ready Corps partnered projects that could be brought to bear with the support of
As you consider wise use of investments in the water resources arena, I encourage you to focus strongly on investing in the Corps flood protection program and the communities across the nation who are partnering and bringing their resources to the table. The effect of these decisions is to grow the return on the Federal investment.
Thank you for your consideration and I stand ready to answer any questions you may have.