The Ron & Linda Yanke Family Research Park
220 East Parkcenter Boulevard, Boise, Idaho
11:30 - 12:15 | Registration and Light Lunch Included
12:15 - 12:30 | Introduction and Welcome - Chris Meyer
Boise Mayor - David Bieter
12:30 - 1:30 | A River Runs Over It: What Happened?
Moderator: David Tuthill, Idaho Water Engineers
Speakers: Pat McGrane, Bureau of Reclamation
Steve Sweet, Quadrant Engineers
Jay Briedenbach, NOAA
1:30-2:30 | A Case Study - Truckee River
Moderator: Mike Murray, HDR
Speaker: Jay Aldean, Truckee River Flood Project
2:30 - 2:45 | Break
2:45 - 4:15 | A River Runs Over It: What Can be Done About It?
Moderator: Chris Meyer
Speakers: Mayor John Evans, Garden City
Ellen Berggren, Army Corp of Engineers
Bill Clayton, Chair, Flood Control District 10
Liz Paul, Idaho Rivers United
Jay Aldean, Truckee River Flood Project
4:25 and 4:35 | Shuttle Leaves Osher Center to Barber Park
5:00 | Float the Boise River to Ann Morrison Park
Rafts provided by Idaho Rivers United but you are welcome to bring your own. By RESERVATION only!
6:30 - 7:30 | Catered Dinner at Ann Morrison Old Timer's Shelter
7:00 - 9:00 | Free Shuttle back to Osher Center Parking Lot
The Boise River was running bankful from late March through April to mid May in 2012, a reminder to anyone who lives near its river or just crosses a bridge that flooding is a question of when, not if. The first panel will discuss the weather and water supply requirements that led to the Spring 2012 river management; what new modeling tells us about the likelihood of flooding and the areas that would be inundated as the river rises; and specific areas at risk for sudden damages due to erosion and channel movement.
What did the experts learn from Spring 2012? Would another course of action been wiser? Do we have enough information early in the year to carry over valuable irrigation water and respond in time to handle upper basin runoff? Weather forecasts continue to improve, but we need to keep up to date with changing climate. What happens if the upper basin runoff comes to fast to handle? What is the risk to life and property? What, where, and how much will be damaged?
Picture if you will...
A river that is controlled by dams and relies on annual snow pack to provide irrigation water to farms and drinking water to communities in an arid environment
A river that winds through a major western city located at the base of foothills and is used for recreation - including a white water park
A river that has been dredged and straightened for flood control, and much of its forested wetlands removed for gravel extraction and development
A river that is the pride of the community
The Boise River, right? Nope. Unlike the Boise River, this river - The Truckee River - has seen major flooding in the past few decades, including inundation in 1997 that put downtown Reno under several feet of water, causing over $500 million in damages.
Following the devastating flood of 1997, cities, counties, and other organizations organized to initiate the Truckee River Flood Project to reduce the impacts of flooding, restore the Truckee River ecosystem, and improve recreational opportunities. Jay Aldean, Executive Director of the Truckee River Flood Management Authority, will provide a case history of the Truckee River Flood Project, including the array of flood, ecosystem, and recreation projects that have been completed and the benefits to the community. Jay will also discuss "lessons learned" in coordinating and funding such a large community effort and how such lessons can be applied to the Boise River.
Other river communities in the United States have acted to reduce the risk to life and property. Can we do as well?
How do we chose from multiple options to reduce the risks to life and property and how do we pay for those choices? The new mapping indicates several well developed cities are going to be pretty wet but floodplain development continues. There is also a history of flooding from the Boise Front Range. What happens if the these streams happen to flood at the same time as the Boise River and what can we do about that? How does the financial benefit of developing the floodplain compare to taking on the financial risk and the community cost of flood insurance, to say nothing of the risk of injuries or death? The Army Corps of Engineers has started looking at larger scale solutions like additional storage, but these options have significant consequences of their own, not to mention extremely high costs.
Mayor Evans of Garden City will share his thoughts about the new information and how the City may respond. What can Cities do and at what cost? Bill Clayton, Chairman of Flood Control District #10 will tell us what tools he has available and what he recommends. Ellen Berggren, a Project Manager with the Army Corps of Engineers, will answer questions about the feasibility of larger scale solutions. Liz Paul, Boise River Campaign Coordinator, who spent a substantial part of 2011 providing community education and seeding a dialogue about the future of the Boise River. Finally, Jay Aldean from the Truckee River project will join our panelists to provide a view from the side of the flood that happened.
Idaho Environmental Forum