Aging flood and stormwater infrastructure combined with climate change threaten Alameda County. The District hasn’t raised its benefit assessment, one of its primary funding sources, in over 30 years. To ensure we can continue offering the necessary levels of flood protection, we’ll soon be reaching out to the community to seek additional funds to provide critical infrastructure upgrades and essential flood control efforts.

Winter Storm Damage

We’ve all seen the flooding across California on the news over the last two winters and Alameda County has not been immune to these impacts. While our flood protection systems have generally performed well considering the magnitude of storms we’ve seen, several flood control systems and creeks have sustained major damage and repairs will be costly.

Storms in January 2023 damaged Estudillo Canal (San Leandro).

Storms in January 2023 damaged Estudillo Canal (San Leandro).

Climate Change

There is a looming concern that climate change will lead to larger, more frequent storms and increased volumes of stormwater. Already, some parts of our infrastructure are unable to cope. Rising sea levels will further exacerbate flood risks in coastal areas, and new projects may be needed.

High waters nearly overflowed San Lorenzo Creek near Meekland Avenue (Hayward).

Rising sea levels may flood low-lying areas such as the mouth of Estudillo Canal (San Leandro).

Aging Infrastructure

Much of Alameda County’s flood control system—including pipes, channels, levees, and pump stations—was built in the 1950s and 60s after the District’s establishment. It’s been in service more than 60 years! It’s near the end of its useful life and needs to be upgraded and replaced.

studillo Canal required temporary bracing to hold up aging walls (San Leandro).

San Leandro Creek’s concrete channel requires maintenance to protect surrounding properties (San Leandro).

Clean Water Regulations

The District is responsible for complying with clean water and environmental protection regulations. New and more stringent regulations have recently been implemented and will require significant funding to comply.

Community members work on a bio swale to capture stormwater runoff in Kennedy Park (Hayward).

A completed tree well captures stormwater runoff on Turner Court (Hayward).