After months of review and approvals from federal and state agencies, the West Valley Water District (WVWD) Board of Directors adopted the WVWD 2021 Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) to ensure that the agency remains well prepared for potential disasters and is eligible for federal and state disaster mitigation assistance and grants.
“This plan is one of many strong actions that we’re taking to limit major crisis situations,” said WVWD Board President Channing Hawkins. “The adoption of this plan will provide access to critical federal dollars and resources that will make us more resilient to catastrophic disasters which can cripple our local economy and cause loss of life. I’d like to commend our WVWD employees for working as a team to complete this complicated, comprehensive plan.”
WVWD employees at every level including management, operations and administrative offices, collaborated across departments to develop the HMP in accordance with strict Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) guidelines. The plan was submitted to California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and FEMA, which completed reviews and determined that the plan is eligible for approval pending formal board adoption. Cal OES completed its review in June and FEMA completed its review in late August.
The 5-year plan, which was last updated in 2010, reflects changes in local development and infrastructure, evolving hazard priorities and progress on previously identified hazard mitigation projects. The adoption of the HMP is a prerequisite for receiving pre-disaster grant funds, disaster response reimbursements and mitigation project reimbursements linked to damages resulting from federal and state disaster declarations.
The WVWD plan outlines measures to mitigate the consequences of emergencies and disasters that cause loss of life or leave people injured or displaced. Recognizing that such disasters have the potential to cause significant damage to local businesses, public infrastructure and the environment or cost tremendous amounts of time and dollars, the plan focuses on the two highest profile hazards that are a major risk for the region: droughts and earthquakes.
“Assessing local changes, reviewing the status of mitigation measures, developing a comprehensive plan for hazard mitigation and incorporating state and federal input was the product of months of concerted work,” said WVWD General Manager Shamindra “Rickey” Manbahal. “This plan is the proud product of our combined efforts, and I’m honored to have worked with such a skilled and dedicated team for their tireless work on this critical project.”