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Flood Management

California Levee Database


California has over 13,000 miles of levees that protect residential and agricultural lands. The levee failures resulting from hurricane Katrina prompted the State and the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to initiate development of a state-of-the-art California Levee Database (CLD) for the purpose of better understanding and managing levees in California. The CLD is an efficient tool for assessing levee reliability risk factors using a GIS-enabled geospatial database.

Starting in 2005, partnering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the auspices of FEMA's Map Modernization Management Support program, the Department has started assembling critically needed levee information on ownership, location, and risk assessment factors for all the levees in California. Recognizing that other agencies are engaged in similar efforts, DWR is actively participating on national committees organized by FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to ensure compatibility and coordination with other national efforts.

Currently, the California Levee Database has location information for more than 10,000 miles of levees and flood control structures throughout California. Major features of the CLD include

  • Levee centerlines for both State-Federal project levees and non-project levees. The project levees use surveyed levee centerlines from USACE's National Levee Database.
  • Boundaries, such as those of levee districts, state levee maintenance area, cities, federal congressional districts, state assembly districts, and hydrologic sub-basins.
  • Feature locations, such as those of boreholes, burrow sites, cross sections, encroachments, high water marks, levee stress, levee failures, and levee relief wells.

These features are continuously refined and populated for all identified levees in California. Additionally, web-based levee profile viewer, levee information viewer, and technical resources viewer will be developed and released to public in the near future.