California's Katrina Is Coming

Hosted by

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.