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Roughly 1100 miles of levees surround the San Joaquin Delta, holding back water from farmland and homes in part of the Central Valley. Some were built one hundred years ago; many aren't up to code. Engineers are worried an earthquake or strong El Niño storm could damage the levees and cause Katrina­like flooding. And drinking water for Californians could be at risk. Barbara Bogaev guest hosts.

Also, Mayor Eric Garcetti and representatives from the US Olympic Committee are in Switzerland tonight making their case for Los Angeles to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. Does LA have a chance? At what cost?

Photo: Sacramento and San Joaquin River Delta (formulanone)

California's Katrina Is Coming 13 MIN, 9 SEC

It's a story rife with irony. In the midst of one of California's worst droughts, the nightmare scenario keeping economists, engineers and state officials up at night, is the prospect of massive flooding. That's because the network of levees protecting the Sacramento, San Joaquin River Delta, the source of much of the state's water, is vastly inadequate. Basically the levees are just piles of dirt, not even up to the standard of New Orleans infrastructure, which so famously failed during Hurricane Katrina. An earthquake, a harsh El Niño storm, which are both very real possibilities, could quickly overflow the embankments ­­ unleashing sea water and contamination from San Francisco Bay into two thirds of the state's drinking water.

Stockton on California's coming Katrina
DWR's Central Valley Flood Protection Board Update
DWR report on climate change adaptation

What's Next for LA's Olympic Bid? 8 MIN, 37 SEC

Los Angeles has done it twice before. Are we up for another go round? Yesterday the US Olympic Committee officially accepted Los Angeles as the US bidder for the 2024 Summer Games.


LA came from behind after first losing to Boston, then roared back into contention after that city dropped out in the face of outcries over cost. Now cost is a big part of the story here. Olympics booster Mayor Garcetti will have to convince City Council that the $6 billion price tag for the games is realistic and worth it. David Wallechinsky, president of the International Society of Olympics Historians, joins us from Lausanne, Switzerland.

David Wallechinsky, International Society of Olympics Historians (@westwood1sports)

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