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Act 1601, the Colusa Basin Drainage District Act, was passed by the State legislature in 1987. This special act was written to address the problems of flooding and winter drainage, irrigation drainage and subsidence which were occurring within the Colusa Basin. These problems were multi-county in scope, but unique to the Colusa Basin. A drainage and flood control district was subsequently created; the Colusa Basin Drainage District (CBDD). 

HR 1113, the Colusa Basin Watershed Integrated Resources Management Act was passed in 1999. The Colusa Basin Integrated Resource Management Program, developed by the CBDD in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation, was developed to address both the peak flooding problems associated with topography and the lower intensity flooding problems associated with human activity. The program was also designed to restore some of the Basin's natural ability to control flooding and provide enhanced conditions for wildlife. The CBDD completed their Integrated Watershed Management Plan in May 2000. The primary goal outlined in the plan is to develop facilities and programs to reduce peak flood flows in conjunction with environmental restoration and enhancement measures.

The District's objectives in implementing the goal include the following: 

•    Work in tandem with landowners, other local interested parties, and local, state and federal agencies.
•    Minimize property damage from flooding within the study area.
•    Maximize landowner benefits.
•    Enhance and protect environmental resources.
•    Minimize impacts to downstream interests.
•    Improve water quality by minimizing erosion and sedimentation.
•    Provide additional opportunities for groundwater recharge where feasible.

The Colusa Basin is comprised of 1,036,000 acres located in the valley floor and foothills lands in the Southwest part of the Sacramento Valley in Colusa/Glenn/Yolo Counties, except for wildlife areas, practically all is farmland.