Adapting to Urbanization

The drainage system stayed in this configuration for a number of years. In the 1950's and 1960's urbanization of the Natomas Basin began, predominantly because of its close proximity to downtown Sacramento and the construction of the interstate highway system. The first area to develop was the Gardenland area in the southern extremity of the basin tucked up against the American River and Natomas East Main Drain Canal. In the 1960's Sacramento Metropolitan Airport was developed. A new pumping plant paid for by the County was constructed to handle the increased runoff from the newly constructed airport.

Through the decades more development occurred starting with the South Natomas Community, Arco Arena, and the surrounding areas. In the 1990's North Natomas began developing bringing thousands of new residents, businesses and supporting infrastructure. Industrial and commercial development also expanded in the vicinity of the airport to support its growing needs. And the airport itself has undergone and continues to undergo significant expansion to support the growing passenger demands. In each case, the District worked with the appropriate agency to insure the impacts of the development and increased runoff are mitigated and do not overburden the existing drainage system. In most cases, large detention storage basins have been incorporated into new development to temporarily store the increased urban runoff and allow it to be bled back into our system at a rate similar to the pre-development condition. These detention basins are augmented by improvements to the existing pumping plants to assist in handling the increased urban runoff.

More urbanization is anticipated in Natomas including continued buildout of North Natomas, more commercial/industrial development associated with Sacramento International Airport, and even plans for a new large community in the south Sutter County area in the vicinity of Riego and Sankey Roads.