Department of Water Resources Home

Flood Management

Be PreparedBuy Flood InsurancePrevent ProblemsProtect Your Property




California Disaster HistoryReports, Bulletins, Publications
Laws and RegulationsContacts

You can take an active role in helping to prevent flood damage to yourself and your neighbors. Improper construction and letting drainageways get clogged can push floodwaters onto other people's properties and may even damage yours.

Get Permits
Never build, fill, dig, or make other changes to your property without getting a permit from your local government. Always check with your local building, zoning, or permit department to see if a permit is required before you build on, fill, alter, or re-grade your property.

Take Care of Your Levee
Debris or overgrown vegetation around levees can weaken your levee and impede flood fighting efforts. Report problems to your local levee district.

Construction near a State-Federal levee must also be permitted by the Central Valley Flood Protection Board. For answers to permit-related questions, visit

Take Care of Your Drainageways
Keep trash, branches, and grass clippings away from levees, channels, basins, ditches, gutters, and storm drain inlets. A blockage can back up water onto your property.

Contact your local officials if you see unauthorized dumping, filling, construction, or debris in your ditches or basins. Click on the CONTACTS button to the left for a list of contacts, including city and county offices.
To find out about levee safety measures, maintenance, inspection, and structural levee integrity, download the California Department of Water Resources brochure, Guide for Living by a Levee.

Be PreparedBuy Flood InsurancePrevent ProblemsProtect Your Property