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The Water Resources Agency manages, protects, stores and conserves water resources in Monterey County for beneficial and environmental use, while minimizing damage from flooding to create a safe and sustainable water supply for present and future generations.

ALERT Flood Warning System

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Following the Marble Cone fire of 1977, Monterey County began the installation of one the first ALERT flood warning networks anywhere. ALERT (Automated Local Evaluation in Real Time) is a communications protocol that was developed by the National Weather Service in the 1970's. ALERT is a reliable, low cost method of transmitting environmental data from remote sites to a central database in real time. ALERT compatible hardware and software has continued to improve and is currently being used for environmental monitoring and flood warning systems throughout the world.

The current Monterey County ALERT flood warning system is operated and maintained by the Monterey County Water Resources Agency. The system consists of approximately 50 remote sites located throughout the major watersheds of Monterey County. These remote sites measure a variety of environmental factors including rainfall, water level, and air temperature that are used to forecast flooding and monitor storm events.


Data from the Monterey County flood warning system can be monitored by MCWRA staff through a secure web based interface from any computer or mobile device with internet access and a web browser. The modern web based system, in conjunction with the redundant ALERT radio backbone, allow reliable access to real time hydrologic data in even the worst storm conditions. Data from the Monterey County flood warning system is used to support flood monitoring operations by the Water Resources Agency as well as the National Weather Service, and the California Nevada River ForecastCenter.

In addition to winter storm monitoring, the flood warning system is used by the MCWRA year round to monitor reservoir releases, and river, reservoir, and lagoon stages as they relate to environmental compliance issues and the operation of the Salinas Valley Water Project.


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Monterey County Water Resources Agency
1441 Schilling Pl., North Bldg., Salinas, CA 93901

    Phone (831) 755-4860   |   FAX (831) 424-7935   |   After Hours (831) 796-1166

Email: OfficeassistantII@co.monterey.ca.us