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The City of Imperial Beach is a low-lying coastal community just north of the U.S.-Mexico border that is vulnerable to flooding, particularly as sea level continues to rise. During seasonal peak tides and energetic wave events, the City already experiences flooding that impacts residents, businesses, and infrastructure.
As part of its Resilient Futures project, CCCIA is teaming with the Imperial Beach community to upgrade the city’s flood alert capabilities and to develop tools to better prepare stakeholders for sea-level rise. The dedicated observing network and modeling system will provide the information needed for accurate, early flood warnings for vulnerable locations throughout the city, as well as the baseline information needed to develop and evaluate future sea-level rise adaptation strategies.
The project is made possible through a generous contribution from the David C. Copley Foundation.

Tracking Flooding Events

The relative contributions of tides, waves, and sea level are documented for coastal flooding events around the city in an effort to relate wave and water level conditions to historic and ongoing flooding events at Imperial Beach.
Click here to see our analysis of historic flooding events in Imperial Beach.

Current Conditions Today

Monitoring wave runup, water levels, and tides help determine conditions that cause flooding in Imperial Beach.
Click here to see details on current conditions and what we are monitoring.

Increasing Preparedness

A Flood Alert System will be created based on forecasts of total water level, consisting of wave runup, tides, and sea level variations. Forecasts of each of the components of total water level will be tested and improved as our observational database expands.
Click here to see the current forecast.

What to expect with this year's El Niño

Historically, flooding risk at Imperial Beach increases during El Nino conditions, due to enhanced wave activity. Regarding this 2018-19 winter season, an El Niño watch is in effect with the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) predicting a 90% chance of El Niño prevailing during the season.

Blue Water Task Force

The Surfrider Blue Water Task Force (BWTF) is a volunteer-run water testing program that aims to alert communities of poor water quality conditions and to work towards solutions. The program at Imperial Beach tests bacteria (Enterococcus) levels at the end of Seacoast Drive.
Testing records are available on the Surfrider website.