Economic Benefits of a Flood Warning System—The Ventura County, California Experience

by Dolores B. Taylor, Ventura County Public Work Agency, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Optimizing the Resources for Water Management

Abstract: Since the spring of 1979, Ventura County has been receiving the benefits of a growing Flood Warning System (FWS). Beginning with six self-reporting raingages, two untested flow models, and a Nova 3c computer, the pilot system worked so well for the City of Fillmore in the February 1980 flood that the U.S. Navy funded an 11-gage expansion which included two self-reporting streamgages and two more flow models. A third expansion to the Ventura County Flood Warning System included the capability of increasing water supply from the Ventura River through real-time operation of a diversion canal that carries flows from the Ventura River headwaters into Casitas Reservoir. The essential involvement of the National Weather Service CA-NEV River Forecast Center in Sacramento cannot be overstated: Calibration of models, free PC software, coordination of radio frequencies, and timely weather forecasts of quantitative precipitation are all a part of the current operation that aids not only Ventura County, but 18 other counties in California, Nevada, and several federal agencies for better stormwater management.

Subject Headings: Floods | Disaster warning systems | Economic factors | Computer models | Rivers and streams | Forecasting | Hydrologic models | Stormwater management | Computer software | North America | United States | California | Nevada | Sacramento

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