A Multi-Benefit Approach to Flood Protection in California

Protecting People, Restoring Rivers

Supporting Fish and Wildlife

Protecting People and Property

Enhancing Recreational Opportunities

Improving Water Quality and Water Security

Preserving Working Farms and Ranches

Multi-benefit projects reduce flood risk while enhancing fish and wildlife habitat by allowing rivers and floodplains to function more naturally.

A Smart Investment: Expanding Floodways

Millions of Central Valley residents live and work in high-risk flood zones. Taxpayers could be liable for billions of dollars in damages if a major flood damages private property, plus the cost of repairing levees, roads, and the state’s water transport system.

Multi-benefit projects use time-tested, common sense approaches combined with the latest science to lower flood risk, enhance habitat, and increase resilience to climate change. The State of California’s Central Valley Flood Protection Board supports a multi-benefit approach to flood management.

Multiple benefits include:

  • Improving water quality

  • Replenishing groundwater

  • Expanding public recreation opportunities

  • Increasing flexibility for reservoir operators

  • Strengthening resilience to extreme weather events due to climate change

Flooded rice fields on Yolo Bypass.
Credit: Daniel Nylen

Sutter Bypass protects ag fields from flooding.
Credit: Daniel Nylen