The critical document that determines how much space should be left in Lake Oroville for flood control during the rainy season hasn’t been updated since 1970, and it uses climatological data and runoff projections so old they don’t account for two of the biggest floods ever to strike the region. … Most recently, the issue of outdated dam manuals came up in the context of California’s five-year drought.
When operators of Oroville Dam suddenly ordered evacuations on Sunday, it focused a big spotlight on a crucial piece of California’s flood-control infrastructure – spillways. … Some of these dams are getting upgrades, albeit slowly.
California’s recovery from drought has been so remarkably quick that reservoirs on the verge of record lows just a year ago are now too full to handle more rain, prompting dam operators across the state to unleash surpluses of water not seen in years.
The Bureau of Reclamation is scheduled to incrementally increase releases below Nimbus Dam from 15,000 cubic feet per second to 30,000 cfs by 4 p.m. Feb. 6, to manage Sierra runoff. If inflows continue to increase or start to decrease, operational adjustments will be made as necessary and may occur on short notice. Folsom Reservoir, located 26 miles northeast of Sacramento, provides water for people, fish and wildlife, hydropower, and environmental and salinity-control requirements in the Bay-Delta.
The Bureau of Reclamation is scheduled to incrementally increase releases below Keswick Dam from 26,000 cubic feet per second to 36,000 cfs by 1 p.m. Feb. 6. The increased releases are necessary to meet flood space regulatory requirements within Shasta Reservoir. … Shasta Reservoir, located 10 miles north of Redding, provides water for people, fish and wildlife, hydropower, and environmental and salinity-control requirements in the Bay-Delta.
The Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources have scheduled a negotiation session with seven Cross Valley Contractors on long-term conveyance contracts for the delivery of federal Central Valley Project water conveyed through state-owned facilities.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Reclamation will hold a public Open House on Thursday, July 31, 2014, to present and solicit comments on the Central Valley Project Improvement Act Annual Work Plans for Fiscal Year 2015.
For the first time in the more than half a century that the federal government had been diverting Sierra Nevada water to farmers, there would be no deliveries to most Central Valley irrigation districts. In the third year of drought, there wasn’t enough water to go around.
Late-hour motorists on Interstate 5 should expect long delays between Cottage Grove and Sutherlin tonight while an oversize load carrying a massive [Folsom] dam gate is transported through the area, the state Department of Transportation said Tuesday. …
“The Bureau of Reclamation has scheduled a meeting to update the public on the current status of the ongoing Cost Allocation Study for the Central Valley Project. The focus of the meeting will be to discuss the methodology on calculating the economic benefits for irrigation and municipal and industrial water supply.”
From the California Department of Water Resources (DWR):
“Located next to San Luis Reservoir along Highway 152 in Merced County, the [Romero Visitors] center features exhibits of the area’s history, dam construction and State Water Project construction and operations.”