AUDIO: State’s flood protection plan misses major point, says Pacific Institute’s Gleick
January 4, 2012
• Too much emphasis on infrastructure, not enough fundamental change says scientist
• ‘Infrastructure alone is not the ultimate answer to floods’
California’s Central Valley Flood Protection Plan, revealed during the week between Christmas and New Year’s by the Department of Water Resources, may be making a basic mistake, says Peter Gleick, co-founder and president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland.
The plan calls for spending up to $17 billion to rebuild levees and other flood protection for the Central Valley.
“There are many ways of dealing with floods. One of the major focuses of the last century in California has been to build infrastructure,” says Mr. Gleick, a hydroclimatologist by training who is an Academician of the International Water Academy, in Oslo, Norway and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
“But infrastructure alone is not the ultimate answer to floods,” he says. “One of my problems with the current report is that it puts a little too much emphasis on infrastructure and not enough emphasis on managing flood plains.”
(Peter Gleick offers his insights into the report and what might also warrant consideration to save money while offering better flood protection in today’s CVBT Audio Interview. Please left-click on the link below to listen now or right-click to download the MP3 audio file for later listening.)
The Department of Water Resources contends improvements must be made to stave off the possibility of devastating floods putting 1 million people and $70 billion in private and public property at risk.
The DWR will provide a public presentation on the report Jan. 27, 2012.