Like everyone else, Robert Bea was appalled when almost 200,000 Californians living below Oroville Dam were ordered to flee for their lives on February 12th. The evacuation was necessitated by severe erosion of the dam’s primary and emergency spillways caused by massive releases of water following torrential winter rains. But unlike most citizens, Bea knew the incident wasn’t engendered strictly by the vagaries of nature or an act of God.
Today [August 9] the Department of Water Resources (DWR) provided an update on construction work on the Lake Oroville Spillways Emergency Recovery Project.
Continued Construction on the Main Spillway
• Construction efforts at the Lake Oroville spillways have remained focused on repairing and reconstructing the gated flood control spillway, also known as the main spillway, by November 1.
The failure of the Oroville spillway in February led people to notice a large green spot on Lake Oroville’s dam. The spot has been there for years, but the questions remain as to whether it’s a sign the dam is leaking.
Federal disaster officials have agreed to chip in $22.8 million to help California pay the estimated $500 million cost of the Oroville Dam crisis. … Department of Water Resources spokeswoman Erin Mellon said Wednesday during a biweekly conference call with reporters that she expects more money to come the state’s way.
Consider a couple of scenarios for big trouble at Oroville Dam: First: The facility’s main concrete spillway suffers serious damage, resulting in erosion of the rock beneath it — and potentially threatening the safety of the dam itself.
Workers have been laboring hard to get the spillway at Oroville Dam fixed in time for the winter rainy season…. The state Department of Water Resources, which owns the dam, is confident that the construction repairs for the spillway are on target.
Friday is the deadline to file a claim with the state government to have a chance of being reimbursed for damages suffered during the Oroville Dam spillway emergency. … Residents may be eligible to receive money to compensate for travel expenses, damage to property, and loss of salary or benefits.
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) said today [August 7] that Vaquero Swim Beach at Pyramid Lake in Los Angeles County will be open for swimming beginning Saturday as a result of improved algal bloom conditions. Laboratory tests of lake water this week detected a level of algae toxins that merits a “Caution” advisory, which means boaters and recreational users may swim in the lake and at designated swim beaches, but should remain cautious of potential blooms.
Several Oroville city councilors have voiced criticism about the mayor’s communication with representatives of the state Department of Water Resources and the State Water Contractors during the height of the Oroville Dam crisis.
One week before the deadline to formally seek payment from the state of California for damages stemming from the Oroville Dam’s spillway failure this year, the state has received 93 claims worth a combined $1.1 billion.
Six months ago, relentless winter storms dumped nearly 13 inches of rain in four days on the Sierra Foothills, tearing an enormous hole in the spillway at Oroville Dam, the nation’s highest, and leading to an unprecedented emergency that prompted the evacuation of 188,000 people from nearby towns. Today, what could have been ground zero for America’s worst dam disaster is now a hotbed of construction activity.
Eric Ward went to one of his regular fishing spots near the Oroville Dam Friday morning, and the scene was far from serene. … The word from the Department of Water Resources is that the rubber booms were deployed to capture any hydraulic oil that spilled into the water when a valve was tested, explained Mark Anderson, assistant State Water Project deputy director.
From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) and California Department of Water Resources (DWR):
As the California State Fair kicks off today [July 11], Save Our Water – a partnership between the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) – is encouraging Californians to visit its displays featuring easy ways to save water inside and outside the home. Staff from DWR will be on hand to help attendees identify opportunities to conserve.