SACRAMENTO, Calif (KSEE/KGPE) – Governor Gavin Newsom issued an emergency Executive Order on Wednesday following the recent record winter storms and flooding that will allow flood preparation in the San Joaquin River Basins and the Tulare Lake to avoid future inundations.

The Executive Order N-7-23 will affect the areas connected to Tulare Lake Basin, the San Joaquin River, and the Kern River, which would include some portions of Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Kern counties.

The Executive Order explains that any floodwater should not be diverted to any barns, ponds, or land to which manure – or waste from an animal facility that generates waste from the feeding and housing of animals – for more than 45 days per year in a confined area that is not vegetated.

It also says that, if it goes to an agricultural field, it should not be directed to one that has had fertilizer or pesticide in the prior 30 days (or any period prohibited and applicable by law).

It also prohibits water being diverted to any area that might cause damage to critical levees – and any area that has not been active in agricultural activity for the last three years.

The Executive Order will also change the way the Water Board will modify the requirements for the other water agencies in California, focusing mostly on debris removal, levee repair, breach, and floodwater diversion – instead of the stream of water. It will not be applied to Tulare Lake Basin until Aug. 31, 2023.

The Executive Order encourages officials to announce, as soon as possible, any areas that are at risk of flooding or if they are flooded already and they represent a risk of inundation to roads, buildings, and land.

According to the Executive Order, there are going to be set mandatory conditions for anybody conducting a controlled inundation or planned levee breaches to prevent any disaster that would lead to actual flooding. The order states that they should “protect aboveground infrastructure and water sources that are necessary for the protection of human health and the recovery of impacted communities.”

The Executive Order will take place immediately to prepare for future flooding and to ensure the safety of the people that could be affected by inundations because of flooding.

You can read the entire Executive Order N-7-23 by clicking here.