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Resilience Articles

Relationship Between Floods and Drought"

"Putting flood management on par with drought management will require addressing several big issues. 
"First, we need to identify the risks and appropriate responses more accurately with our changing climate in mind. Communities and governments need to work together to increase resilience, particularly for the most vulnerable populations....
"Second, all levels of government must renew investment in aging and inadequate flood management infrastructure....
"Finally, flood and drought management should be integrated for maximum efficacy. That means using floodwaters to recharge groundwater basins; making more room for rivers to accommodate floods and improve ecosystems; adding more green spaces to our cities to provide shade during heat waves and absorb runoff during storms; and employing new technology to ensure reservoirs provide both water supply and flood control. Innovations like this are starting to occur across California, but they need to be scaled up to help us manage flood risks while also getting us through dry times.
"There’s room for optimism about the benefits of linking flood and drought management. Much of our aging flood infrastructure was not designed for water supply but rather to sweep water quickly to the ocean. Communities that start to make flood infrastructure a more integral part of their water supply planning can address both problems.
"California has a right to be obsessed with drought. But that obsession must not lead us to neglect the threat of floods, which pose such high risks for human safety and the economy. The storms of the past winter, and the snowmelt-fueled deluges we can expect this spring, are a reminder that we should be equally preoccupied with floods."
from: LA Times - Opinion: Catastrophic floods and breached levees reveal a problem California too often neglects, 4/7/23

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