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Prep for floods, Plant trees

Jul 19 2018 | 10:02:05
By Henry Fountain As a reporter who sometimes writes about water, I’ve spent a lot of time in California, where most of the time there doesn’t seem to be enough of it. But my most recent trip to the state, last month, was for this story about the times when California has too much water — when strings of storms from the Pacific dump huge amounts of rain. That has caused large floods in the past, and scientists say that climate change, by increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme storms, will increase the flood risk. So California is looking for solutions to protect communities from major floods. As I saw during a visit to Modesto in the Central Valley, one idea is to create more floodplains by taking riverfront land (usually farmland) that had been protected by levees and berms and allowing that land to flood, which can lower river flood levels at communities along the river. Of course, there’s a lot more to making a floodplain than just knocking down a levee. You can read more about what goes into the effort in my story, here.