The near-disaster at Oroville Dam last February brought damage claims flooding into the state by the hundreds – shops and restaurants that lost business, farms that got overwhelmed by surges in water, cities and counties buried in evacuation expenses. Most claims argue that the state is responsible for the emergency because it ignored warning signs about the condition of the dam’s spillway.
For the half-century after World War II, California represented the epitome of middle-class America on the move. As people poured into the state in search of good weather and the lure of single-family homes with backyard orange trees, the state embarked on a vast natural engineering project that redirected northern water southward, creating the modern Southern California and making the state the most populous in the nation.
The previously secret state Department of Water Resources memorandum explaining the hairline cracks in the Oroville Dam spillway is now public. The document provides more details on how Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., the contractor for spillway reconstruction, tried to reduce shrinkage, which leads to cracking in concrete.
California’s dam inspectors appear to be doing their jobs well. Unfortunately, too many dam operators are falling down on the job, and could be placing the public at risk. That’s the message of a report by The Sacramento Bee’s Ryan Sabalow and Dale Kasler.
Yuba-Sutter residents voiced concerns to the Department of Water Resources over a variety of issues Thursday night, including the hairline cracks that have appeared on the reconstructed spillway, a need for more transparency moving forward, and the significant amount of sediment buildup in the Feather River brought about by the Lake Oroville incident last February and plans – or lack thereof – to clear it out.
The Bee reviewed five years of inspection reports by the California Department of Water Resources for 93 dams that the state identified as potentially problematic in the wake of the Oroville Dam spillway failure. … Use the map to see if a dam near you is on the list.
The Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) today [Dec. 6] released a beta version of an updated water resources and water supply reliability planning tool for review and comment. Water managers in California use the model – known as CalSim – to examine operations of the interconnected Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP) given assumptions for hydrology conditions, project facilities, and regulatory criteria.
Northern California residents living in the shadow of the nation’s tallest dam vented decades of frustration with state water managers Wednesday, telling officials they have no credibility when they say hairline cracks in a newly rebuilt spillway are nothing to worry about.
It might be another year or so until reconstruction of the main spillway at Lake Oroville is officially complete, but Department of Water Resources officials say the structure is ready for whatever this winter can throw at it, even if there are a few cracks here and there.
For as long as agriculture has existed in the Central Valley, farmers have pumped water from the ground to sustain their livelihood and grow food consumed by much of the nation. This has caused the ground in certain places to sink, sometimes dramatically, eliminating valuable aquifer storage space that can never be restored.
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.