Levee Fixes In Calif. Leads To More Building, Risk


Salon Staff
February 18, 2012 9:00PM (UTC)

LATHROP, Calif. (AP) — In Lathrop, a small community that mushroomed on a floodplain in California's Central Valley, levee repairs are paving way for thousands more homes.

The repairs are funded largely by $5 billion in state voter-approved flood control bonds.

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An AP analysis of the $3 billion spent so far shows the largest expenditures have focused on improving levees in flood-prone areas where development recently occurred and where much more growth is planned.

Critics say this is a poor way to spend flood control dollars, because encouraging new development in floodplains puts more people and property at risk. And higher risk means ever-escalating demands for levee repairs.

State water officials say they have little power over local land use decisions and are spending the bond money to protect existing communities.


Salon Staff

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