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Living with Extreme Floods in California

Floods and their consequences are a reality for many worldwide, including those living in California. This reality is evidenced by pictures of people stranded on roofs surrounded by water, people paddling down water-filled streets in makeshift boats, and farm fields and orchards covered in standing water. However, there is also growing acceptance that floods are natural, recurring events that have positive aspects, especially where they support migratory waterfowl, enhance fisheries, and sustain wetlands and their high diversity of organisms (Mount et al 2023).

The Banality of Floods (and Droughts)

California’s ongoing floods and very wet year overall will continue to grab headlines, provide great pictures, and break some local records, but overall this year is unlikely to be truly extreme from historical or broader water policy and management perspectives. It can still be a very useful wet year, beyond just having lots of water.

Winter Floods Are Coming: Here’s How to ‘Be Flood Ready’

SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Water Resources is encouraging Californians to prepare for a wide variety of potential flooding in the coming months, as the winter storm season quickly approaches.

More than seven million Californians in rural communities, urban areas and along the coast are at risk of flooding. Flooding can occur throughout the state and Californians need to be aware and understand the potential risks of flooding in their communities, the department said in a recent press release.