degrading because limitations of original design, decreased capacity of flow channels from sedimentation, subsidence, sea level rise, and inadequate maintenance practices. There have been many Delta levee breaches, and there is great concern about multiple levee failures in the event of an earthquake or large storm. The City of Sacramento, now a major urban area with a population of approximately 500,000, is at substantial risk for a catastrophic flood event (Mayer, 2010).
Both federal and nonfederal levees in the Delta region are maintained by local reclamation districts with assistance from the State of California (USACE, 2006). Levee system maintenance historically has been inadequate because funding from reclamation district taxes on predominantly agricultural lands is low.
To begin to address the inadequate and failing levee infrastructure of the Delta, Congress passed the CALFED Bay-Delta Authorization Act in 2004. The CALFED Act directed the Corps to identify and prioritize potential levee stabilization projects that could be carried out with authorized federal funds ($90 million initially and supplemented with $106 million in WRDA 2007) and required matching support. In response, the Corps invited Delta stakeholders to submit project proposals along with commitments of cost sharing. Delta region reclamation districts and flood management agencies submitted 68 project proposals totaling more than $1 billion in estimated project costs (USACE, 2011a). Work has begun on the projects determined by the Corps to be of highest priority. This is just a first step to addressing Delta levee system rehabilitation and redesign needs. A long-term strategy is being developed with the State of California through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Islands and Levees Feasibility Study.
deficiencies of Corps dams (ibid.). The actions range from immediate recognition dams, through normal operations and dam safety activities for safe dams.
Levees and Other Protection Infrastructure
OMR funding for flood protection levees presents its own set of financing challenges. In comparison with dams and their flood control purposes and OMR arrangements, however, levees present a clearer line of relative responsibilities. The roughly 14,000 miles of levees in the federal levee system include, for example, the large Mississippi River levees that are part of the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MRT) project. Such levees are federally owned, and their OMR costs for flood protection improvements generally are 100 percent federal