Department of Water Resources
3310 El Camino Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95821
P.O. Box 219000
Sacramento, CA 95821-9000
Urban Level of Flood Protection Criteria
How to Get Involved
Join the Urban Level of Flood Protection Criteria Refinement Work Group
The ULOP Criteria Refinement Work Group will be meeting approximately once a month. DWR currently anticipates that the work group will be active from May 2013 through the summer, and possibly beyond. The first meeting has yet to be scheduled.
Membership selection is currently taking place. If you are interested in participating in this work group, please contact Michele Ng, Project Manager, Department of Water Resources, at (916) 574-2371 or Michele.Ng@water.ca.gov, for an application. Applications are due Friday, May 3, 2013.
- Invitation to Cities and Counties to Participate in Work Group (PDF: 38 KB)
- Charter for the Urban Level of Flood Protection Criteria Refinement Work Group (PDF: 71 KB)
Formation of ULOP Criteria Refinement Work Group
In April 2012, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) developed and released Draft Urban Level of Flood Protection Criteria (draft Criteria) (PDF: 3.9 MB). The draft Criteria were developed with input from a diverse work group of representatives from cities, counties, other State and federal agencies, and associated professional organizations. Since release of the draft Criteria, Senate Bill 1278 and Assembly Bill 1965 of 2012 were passed to amend the original Senate Bill 5 of 2007 to clarify certain aspects of the 2007 legislation, and to amend some of the milestone dates and timeframes included in the original legislation.
To address public comments, recent legislative amendments, and several implementation challenges that remain, DWR plans to engage in additional discussions with affected stakeholders about revising the draft Criteria and potentially participating in legislative amendments. The new ULOP Criteria Refinement Work Group will consist of local government planners and other related topic experts to discuss and identify what can be done to support pragmatic implementation of the urban level of flood protection requirements. As part of this effort, DWR also expects to convene some topic-specific subgroups to work through details with a smaller group of representative experts.
The ULOP Criteria Refinement Work Group will be meeting approximately once a month beginning in May 2013 and continuing through the summer and possibly beyond. The first meeting has yet to be scheduled. See the details in the sidebar about how to participate.
Background on the Urban Level of Flood Protection Criteria
As part of the floodplain management planning effort under the FloodSAFE California Initiative, DWR has developed the draft Criteria in response to the requirements from 2007 flood management legislation, enacted by Senate Bill 5, to strengthen the link between flood management and land use. The urban level of flood protection is defined as follows:
"Urban level of flood protection" means the level of protection that is necessary to withstand flooding that has a 1-in-200 chance of occurring in any given year using criteria consistent with, or developed by, the Department of Water Resources. “Urban level of flood protection” shall not mean shallow flooding or flooding from local drainage that meets the criteria of the national Federal Emergency Management Agency standard of flood protection. (California Government Code §65007(n)).
The draft Criteria provide a systematic approach to help cities and counties make findings related to an urban level of flood protection before:
- Entering into a development agreement for any property;
- Approving a discretionary permit or other entitlement, or a ministerial permit that would result in the construction of a new residence, for any project; or
- Approving a tentative map, or parcel map for which a tentative map was not required, for any subdivision (see California Government Code Sections 65865.5, 65962, and 66474.5).
While cities and counties located outside of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley are not required to make findings related to an urban level of flood protection, the draft Criteria can help inform engineering and local land use decisions for areas at risk of flooding anywhere in California.
Previous Work Groups
Urban Level of Flood Protection Work Group
The draft Criteria were developed through a collaborative process with stakeholders from cities, counties, other State and federal agencies, and associated professional organizations. DWR held these work group meetings from May 2011 through December 2012.
Meeting summaries for the Urban Level of Flood Protection Work Group can be downloaded below:
- Work Group Meeting 1: May 3, 2011 (PDF: 218 KB)
- Work Group Meeting 2: June 21, 2011 (PDF: 102 KB)
- Work Group Webinars: August 15, 2011 and August 17, 2011 (PDF: 89 KB)
- Work Group Meeting 3: March 7, 2012 (PDF: 223 KB)
- Work Group Meeting 4: December 13, 2012 (PDF: 168 KB)
This Draft Urban Level of Flood Protection Criteria fact sheet provides an overview of why the criteria were developed and how they will be used.
For information regarding pertinent engineering criteria related to the urban level of flood protection, please refer to the Urban Levee Design Criteria (ULDC).
For more information regarding the draft Criteria and the process moving forward, please contact Michele Ng, Project Manager, Department of Water Resources, at (916) 574-2371 or Michele.Ng@water.ca.gov.