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Flood Control System

District Service Area - The District is located in the north-central portion of Fresno County between the San Joaquin and Kings rivers. The District is authorized to control storm waters within an urban and rural foothill watershed of approximately 400 square miles, known as the Fresno County Stream Group. The watershed extends eastward into the Sierra Nevada to an elevation of approximately 4,500 feet above sea level. The District service area includes most of the Fresno-Clovis metropolitan area, and unincorporated lands to the east and northeast.

For the purposes of program planning, structure, service delivery, and financing, a distinction is made between flood control and local drainage services. The flood control program relates to the control, containment, and safe disposal of storm waters that flow onto the valley floor from the eastern streams. The local drainage program relates to the collection and safe disposal of storm water runoff generated within the urban and rural watersheds or "drainage areas." All are closely integrated and coordinated to provide efficient, comprehensive services. Collectively, these facilities comprise the "Storm Drainage and Flood Control Master Plan."

The Way We Were

The photos below illustrate our community's need for protection from flood waters. Before construction of the flood control and urban drainage system, scenes like these were all too common in the Fresno-Clovis area.

1925 Flooding
Downtown Fresno, 1925 - This business and many others were routinely damaged by flood waters in the years before a planned urban storm drainage system. Downtown Fresno has experienced numerous floods since its beginning as Fresno Station in 1872.
1958 Flooding
Hammond Avenue, east of Dry Creek Canal, March 23, 1958 Residents and law enforcement work together to shore up the canal bank after it is overwhelmed by stormwater rushing in from the foothills to the east. The Fancher Creek and Big Dry Creek Reservoirs were constructed in the early 1990s to alleviate flooding.
North of Ventura, west of First, 1969 Looking west on Gilbert Avenue shows the impact of flooding on activities as basic as travel. Since its creation by voters in 1956, the District has planned and continues constructing flood control infrastructure throughout the Fresno/Clovis metro area.


DWR Stormwater Flood Mgmt Grant

In September, 2013, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced final award of Stormwater Flood Management Grant Round 2 funds.

The District's Dry Creek Flood Control Improvement Project was awarded $6.89 million in 50% matching funds and received the highest score of the 10 funded and 31 proposals submitted.

The Dry Creek Flood Control Improvement Project includes upgrades at Big Dry Creek Dam and creation of 1,057 acre-feet of additional flood storage at three basin sites along Dry Creek and a tributary. Work will begin in early 2014. Project area map. Read news release.