Take it with you to building permit hearings and zoning plan meetings.

Watch this until it converts you. This video shows the best case scenario. Water rushing over ag land, destroying relatively few buildings and killing relatively few people. It is dissipating energy the whole time as it approaches the highway that is acting as a levee. This is why we need set-back levees. This is how we should disperse floods. The only improvement I could see is to send floods over less capital-intensive agriculture, but even so, it isn’t a subdivision with houses full of children.

Also, that leading debris line is something to see.


Up until that wave hits the houses, this is what success would look like.


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3 responses to “Take it with you to building permit hearings and zoning plan meetings.

  1. onthepublicrecord

    That video should be played in a loop on a side wall in every planning commission meeting, county supervisor meeting, general plan meeting in every county that borders the Sacramento or San Joaquin Rivers for the next decade.

  2. OtPR,

    I expect to be skewered if you end up thinking this post warrants a response, especially in the wake of the tragedy in NE Japan, still unknown in scope because of the very scary nuclear power plant situation. To me, the nuclear power plant thing is at least as lesson – producing as is what you are getting at here, so…

    I think it is a bait and switch to equate the geography and seismology of that part of Japan, fully exposed to the subduction zone to the east, with what could happen in the very tsunami-protected Delta or along the Sacramento or San Joaquin Rivers. There is a difference between flooding, something that comes from upstream, and a tsunami that comes from downstream.

    Granted, seismic issues, especially for the Delta, are very arguably present. I’ve heard a beautiful story about a former Japanese-American farmer on Bacon Island watching the telephone poles sway by as the wave of an earthquake passed underneath, something he experienced when he was a boy many years ago.

    As I think you know, my Delta argument is that one can be smart about development and how one builds in places that have specific risks like flooding, and one can also use building (and the revenue building generates) as a way to mitigate risk. Building in a desirable location like along the Delta’s vulnerable levees could significantly subsidize the cost of setback levee construction, for instance.

    Even in flood plains like the Delta, yes. Why couldn’t building in the Delta help build both setback levees and produce a private management organization of the ecosystems that would take root on the new levee’s shoulders, producing thousand of acres of new estuary habitat?

    The Netherlands exists. The Delta exists as a desirable recreational space, but a not very well organized one. It could be though.

    In relation to a recent OtPR post, I agree that building compact communities is good for all kinds of reasons. The form of density that could happen in the Delta is perhaps unconventional – intensely linear – as the setback levee eco-systems that such development would organize. But dense, nonetheless.

    The idea I am promoting is that substantial setback levee infrastructures should be built in flood-prone areas of the Central Valley – Delta, and that these should be densely programmed and settled to recoup a part of the development costs of such improvement. This idea is not opposed to either a peripheral canal or a transecting tunnel project to ensure water goes south. One of these two options seems inevitable and even essential. But I see no reason why the idea that the New Delta is built along the rims of its new setback levees, whose levees are the second homes of environmental stewards, its islands teem with organic farms and wealthy real estate speculators, and its sloughs with the species of its healthy estuary ecosystems.

  3. … is not worth careful consideration.

    Left that last part of the last sentence out – please edit if so inclined – I trust your editorial skill…