Background

Historically known as the “Sinks of Dry Creek,” the Fresno area would often fill up with water due to no existing natural drainage. To protect urban areas from excess floodwater, urban basins were created throughout the City to detain floodwaters. In addition, the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District (FMFCD) collaborated with the Fresno Irrigation District (FID) to use FID’s irrigation canals located throughout Fresno County to convey stormwater floods away from urban areas. Due to limited storage capacity of the urban basins and canals, building additional storage capacity is a significant need to address flood risks.

Grant Contract

Proposition 1E, the Disaster Preparedness and Flood Protection Bond Act, was passed by California voters in November 2006 and included funding for flood control structure, flood prevention, identification of risks and protection of flood corridors, and stormwater reuse. The Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District (FMFCD) received the highest score of the 10 funded projects in the second round of the Stormwater Flood Management grant under Prop. 1E for their project titled “Dry Creek Flood Control Improvement Project.” The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) awarded FMFCD $6,891,011.00 in grants. The awarded grant combined with a 50% local cost share of $6,891,011.00 brought the Project to a total cost of $13,782,021.00. The grant agreement between FMFCD and DWR was executed on May 12, 2014 with all grant activities concluding on September 30, 2017.

Project Descriptions

PROJECT:  Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District – Dry Creek Flood Control Improvement Project

The Dry Creek Flood Control Improvement Project entails improvement of the seepage control at Big Dry Creek Dam and creation of additional flood storage of 1,057 acre-feet (1,077 acre-feet with 20 acre-feet from percolation) distributed at three basin sites along Dry Creek: Pup Creek-Enterprise Basin, Big Dry Creek Detention Basin and Dry Creek Extension Basin.

The primary goals of the Project are to: “Improve safety of flood water storage in Big Dry Creek Reservoir, increase storage capacity in multiple rural basins to reduce flood risk and damage, increase groundwater recharge, reduce pollutants in stormwater, provide public education and recreational opportunity at Pup Creek-Enterprise Detention Basin, and increase flood water routing capabilities through the construction of pump stations at three rural basins.”

Multiple benefits of the Project include building storage capacity for flood water, prevent dam failure, reduce flood risk, reduce flood damage around urban areas, increase groundwater recharge, recreation, public education and outreach, improve habitat for wildlife, and improve water quality.