Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Mid San Joaquin River Regional Flood Management Plan?

The Mid San Joaquin River Regional Flood Management Plan (Mid SJR RFMP) seeks to paint a broadly supported vision for a flood-safe region. It will identify challenges and opportunities for flood management, emergency response, and a prioritized list of actions and projects to protect people and property in Stanislaus County, from the Merced-San Joaquin River confluence to the Stanislaus-San Joaquin River confluence. Specifically, any areas protected by the State Plan of Flood Control facilities, and any other areas experiencing flood issues that have a nexus to these facilities, will be eligible for inclusion in the Mid SJR RFMP.
It is intended to be a collaborative, sustainable, action plan resulting in a list of prioritized projects that will reduce regional flood risk and meet State goals of 200-year flood protection in urban areas (one chance in 200 of flooding in any year) and 100-year flood protection for communities in rural areas (one chance in 100 of flooding in any year) where feasible.

The Mid SJR RFMP will be used by California and federal agencies to enhance flood management in the Central Valley and will contribute to the state’s larger flood risk reduction process by providing a long-range view of project and funding needs.

Why is a regional flood management plan needed?

Currently, the state’s planning efforts have focused on statewide and system-wide issues. The next step is a region-by-region analysis of flood management needs and potential projects. The Mid SJR RFMP offers local and regional interests, large and small, the opportunity to provide direct input to the state’s process about specific project opportunities and challenges. The RFMP also provides regional interests with a process in which they can frame, identify, and begin to address their own flood management goals. Ultimately, the Mid SJR RFMP is the critical foundation needed to cultivate collaboration among stakeholders and position the region for future funding opportunities.

In the past, regional flood risk reduction efforts have struggled due to lack of long-term vision, organization and funding. Working together, regional interests can prioritize projects and can partner on funding needs to solve issues and complete projects more efficiently. This planning effort evens the playing field among diverse interest groups and prioritizes projects based on need and regional benefit rather than funding or staffing resources.

How does the Mid San Joaquin River RFMP relate to other flood and water management efforts?

The Mid SJR RFMP is one of six regional flood management plans being developed in the Central Valley:

It will dovetail with neighboring RFMPs to the north and south to leverage opportunities and eliminate redundancies. It will also seek to harmonize with existing processes, such as the as the East Stanislaus Integrated Regional Water Management Plan among many others. Through collaboration and resource sharing across the region, this plan is an opportunity to improve flood management efficiently.

Who will develop the Mid San Joaquin River RFMP?

People in Stanislaus County and the Mid San Joaquin River Region! Flood management professionals and landowners, city/county planners and farmers, emergency management professionals and river experts, resource conservation districts and environmental/recreation interests. YOU! If you’d like to participate in the process, please let us know by signing up on the website. This effort should represent the needs of our region.

A core group, led by RD 2092 and Stanislaus County, was successful in getting a DWR grant to develop the RFMP and have committed to continuing to be involved. It includes representatives from:

  • City of Modesto
  • City of Patterson
  • City of Turlock
  • Del Puerto Irrigation District
  • East Stanislaus Regional Water
    Management Partnership
  • El Solyo Irrigation District
  • Mapes Ranch
  • Modesto Irrigation District
  • Oakdale Irrigation District
  • Patterson Irrigation District
  • Reclamation District 2063
  • Sierra Club – Yokuts
  • Stanislaus County Public Works
  • Tuolumne River Trust
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • West Stanislaus Irrigation District

Who ELSE will be, or should be, participating?

The Mid SJR RFMP process is seeking to involve diverse interests such as local, state and federal government agencies; additional flood control agencies, irrigation districts, reclamation districts, maintenance districts; farmers and farm organizations, landowners, community groups, as well as recreation and environmental interests. The final plan will capture input from these diverse interests to identify prioritized projects. Outreach will focus on soliciting input from the following groups, such as:

Local/Regional Government, such as:

  • Cities of Newman and Patterson
  • Unincorporated Grayson
  • County Officials including Agriculture Commissioner, Fire Warden, and the Resources Director

Agriculture, Business and Community Organizations, such as:

  • Stanislaus County Farm Bureau
  • Lower Tuolumne Farmers
  • Modesto Chamber of Commerce
  • Modesto King Kennedy Center
  • San Joaquin River Flood Control Association

Academic Institutions, such as:

  • CSU Stanislaus
  • CSU Fresno – CA Water Institute

Recreation and Environmental Organizations, such as:

  • Stanislaus Fly Fishermen
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • Stanislaus Audubon Society

Regulatory Agencies, such as:

  • National Marine Fisheries Service
  • U.S .Army Corps of Engineers

If you see an organization or interest missing from the preliminary list above, please let us know.

What topics will the Mid San Joaquin River RFMP cover?

Content will include information about flood risks, responding to flood emergencies, and potential projects to address the risks. The projects also consider ways to provide protection to people and property that also supports healthy rivers, habitat and species. The Mid SJR RFMP will include the following sections:

  • Executive Summary
  • Regional Settings
  • Assessment of Flood Hazards in the Region
  • Proposed Regional Improvements
  • Regional Priorities
  • Enhanced Operations and Management
  • Emergency Response Planning
  • Land Use and Environmental Enhancements
  • Regional Financial Plan
  • Updated Regional Atlas (separate document or attachment)

Projects identified in the Plan will include a cost and benefit assessment.

What is the Mid San Joaquin River RFMP development timeline and public input process?

The Plan will be developed from March 2013 to September 2014. Content will be based on existing information augmented by getting input from experts and community members who have specific knowledge and experience with flooding, emergency response, flood protection, farm operations, and healthy rivers and habitat. The plan must represent the varied interests and conditions of this diverse region.

The primary avenues for public participation in the development of the RFMP are:

  • Planning Meetings. Three planning meetings will help establish the process for developing the Mid San Joaquin RFMP. One was held in April 2013, one in June 2013, and a third will be held at a later date. All meetings are open to the public and agendas and meeting summaries are posted on the project website:
  • Public Workshops. Ten public workshops will be held to get input from stakeholders. Each section of the plan will be presented during the workshops as an initial approach, as well as a draft and a final form (see Workshop Schedule for month and topic).
  • Plan Review and Comment. The public is invited to review and provide comments on each section as it is prepared. All documents will be posted on the website:
  • Briefings/presentations. Members of the planning team will present an overview or status report to local government agencies, elected officials, boards, agricultural and business interests, community organizations and regional flood management planning efforts to the north and south of Stanislaus County. If your organization is interested in a briefing, please contact us.

Through the outreach program, we will ask stakeholders many things including:

  • What are your flood-related challenges?
  • How do you recommend solving them?
  • How do you recommend paying for them?

What happens after the plan is finished?

With a final RFMP, the region’s flood management entities will have a much better understanding of the current flood risk landscape and required resources to reduce the flood risk. The RFMP will get the Mid San Joaquin River Region into position to potentially secure future DWR funding to implement priority projects.

In addition, the regional plans will influence the 2017 update of the 2012 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (CVFPP). The 2017 CVFPP is expected to be one of the key documents from which the state will make future funding decisions.

Background on DWR’s Role, its FloodSAFE Program, and the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan

What role will DWR play in regional planning?

The Department of Water Resources is taking a “bottom up” approach to regional planning participation. Regional entities are leading the process to ensure regional issues and voices are included and prioritized. DWR is participating by providing requested support and resources. Involvement includes guidance, technical information, financial assistance and other assistance needed for the local entities to complete the plan successfully. 

What is FloodSAFE and how is the regional plan different?

FloodSAFE is California’s statewide sustainable, integrated flood management and emergency response system .The Mid San Joaquin River RFMP is a focused, regional effort being created by local interests.

Who is paying for this regional planning effort and what is the cost?

This planning effort is funded in part by DWR’s FloodSAFE program, as well as by in-kind contributions from Mid San Joaquin River RFMP stakeholder participants. The budget is $869,000 for the period of January 2013 through December 2014. For further information and details about our funding and expenses, please visit the following links:

What is the Central Valley Flood Management Planning Program?

The Central Valley Flood Management Planning (CVFMP) Program was launched in 2008; one aspect of the CVFMP is to develop a comprehensive framework for system-wide flood management and flood risk reduction in the Sacramento and San Joaquin River basins known as the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (CVFPP), which was adopted in 2012.

CVFMP is now assisting in the planning and coordination of major implementation actions of the 2012 CVFPP, including state-led basin-wide feasibility studies, regionally-led regional flood management planning (this regional flood management plan effort) and the Central Valley Flood System Conservation Strategy. The CVFPP will incorporate each of these planning efforts into the next update of the CVFPP, scheduled for 2017. 

What is the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan?

The CVFPP was adopted by the Central Valley Flood Protection Board in June 2012. The CVFPP provides conceptual guidance to reduce the risk of flooding for about one million people and $70 billion in infrastructure, homes and businesses with a goal of providing 200-year (one chance in 200 of flooding in any year) protection to urban areas, and reducing flood risks to small communities and rural agricultural lands. For more information, visit and