I need to give some more detail for sure.
(quote)I guess that the county water agency you mention don't want to take on the legal responsibility for your flood protection. I guess that if they failed and a flood reached the properties they would face a bill for property restoration substantially higher than the proposed levy cost?
They claim that they would not be liable for any damage to our properties. They used to pay for damage to the farm at the low end but have refused in recent years. There have been no big events since then but the farmer would have to take them to court.
(quote) It does sound like their proposal is excessively expensive - but then I have no idea of the scale of the work proposed. I'd ask the question - if you as a community bought an excavator and paid a man for a year to run it how much would it cost and what could he achieve? You can move alot of earth in a year!
This county has strictly controled building codes. We cant replace our roof without a permit. Moving earth requires a licensed engineers review and an environmental protection approval, insurance, permit fees, etc. The idea has been brought up half jokingly, that we just go clear out the levy and move the earth on a full moon but no one is brave enough so far. There are plenty of tractors and at least one backhoe owned in the neighborhood. I know for sure that the backhoe owner would not want to participate. We might end up doing that if an actual event occurred on the spur of the moment.
(quote) Why are the water board proposing an expensive concrete levy structure instead of enlarging the earthen bank?
They aren't proposing a concrete structure. The $4 mil plan only includes rebuilding the existing earthen bank. They were not even going to start the work until all of the money was collected. Since most if not all of us don't have the money, we would lose our homes and then we would be out of the way at no cost to the agency. Remember, the previous plan was to buy us out. I wish they would offer that now and pay the assessed value. I cant sell my home for that much in the marketplace due to the economy and this stuff hanging over it.
(quote)The permaculture approach to this is to design the problem away. In this case adapt your environment to mitigate against the high floods.
Thank you. That is the answer I am looking for.
(quote)You don't mention where you are in the watershed,
About the middle. When the properties were first subdivided, no one checked for potential problems. When a property changes ownership, the problem is downplayed by real estate agents. Actually, in the 22 years that I have been here, there have been only very minor inconveniences. Old timers tell a story of one large event in the '70's that took out some homes but now we have new foundation codes that may have prevented that. A mobile home on regular jacks sitting on top of the ground would understandably wash away.
(quote)On individual properties you can use earthworks to direct the flow of water around critical features, and create areas of still water where vulnerable structure are protected. (You don't mention if these floods are fast moving or more stationary water?). There was an excellent Geoff Lawton video on living in a flood environment published a few months ago.
Our present foundations have never had the opportunity to be tested. The water is fast moving in the levy but the roads have only mud problems.
My outlet from my dead end road caved in a couple of years ago due to runoff from the paved road that it ajoins. I had to dig out my jeep a couple of times when I tried to get out. The county would not repair it, claiming no responsibility. My neighbor came to the rescue with his Kabota. I will look up that video as soon as possible.
It should also be pointed out that we are mostly senior and disabled people on very low incomes who live here because it is cheap.
There is no river and only a seasonal stream that rarely has water in it due to the fact that we are lucky to get about 9 inches a year in precipitation. The water comes from snow melt and occasional torrential rains. Actual events are extremely rare. The water runs down the valley and empties into the Kern River and then into the lake which is supported by the dam. The water is not allowed to stay in the dam as mentioned before so it is drained off by the lower Kern River to Bakersfield, the Antelope Valley and Los Angeles.
I think that your suggestions are excellent and applicable and very much appreciated. Now if I can just get the community motivated out of their complacency. The attitude now is that the problem with the agency has been averted and no further action is needed on our part. I don't think that the agency expected to get community approval, obviously. They knew the money was not here. I am expecting the other shoe to fall.