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EWP-California Natural Disasters Questions & Answers

Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP)

California Natural Disasters

Questions & Answers

When does the damage assessment process begin?

Attending to the safety of fire victims is always a community’s first priority. As soon as victims are attended to and fires are contained, the damage assessment process begins.

Who can receive EWP assistance?

Landowners who have experienced severe property damage due to natural disasters may be eligible for assistance. All projects must have a governmental sponsor, such as a city, county or water district, and the program is intended to help groups of people, not individuals. All EWP work must reduce threats to life and property, be economically and environmentally defensible and sound from an engineering standpoint. All work must represent the least expensive alternative.

All EWP work must have a project sponsor. How can you become one?

The sponsor must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a state or legal subdivision of a state government, a local unit of government, or a qualified Indian tribe or tribal organization
  • Must be able and willing to obtain needed land rights, water rights, and permits
  • Must supply the required cost-share (25%) or in-kind services for needed work
  • Must agree to provide for the operation and maintenance of emergency measures when completed

How is the Natural Resources Conservation Service helping?

Natural Resources Conservation Service employees monitors natural disasters and communicates with local Resource Conservation Districts, county officials, and other potential sponsors about the EWP program and its potential use. When potential projects are identified, staffs work with sponsors to prepare damage survey reports (DSR) as the first step in providing EWP assistance.

How does the EWP program protect the environment?

Interdisciplinary teams, including biologists, geologists, resource conservationists and engineers, evaluate all of the impacts of a proposed measure to ensure that it is environmentally sound. An interagency approach is used when necessary to coordinate efforts with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other federal and state agencies.