New Report Calls For Changes To California Dam Policies

Sep 19, 2017

A new report from a collection of environmental, fishing, and river rafting groups recommends changes to dam management following the failure of the main spillway at Lake Oroville in February.

The 18 recommendations include construction of a full emergency spillway at Lake Oroville, allocation of money for the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan, and the inclusion of safety as a primary factor in licensing hydroelectric dams in the future.

"Dam safety programs — state and federal —  have failed to pick these problems up at Oroville that are probably pretty obvious," said Ron Stork with Friends of the River. "If they do their job right, they're going to pick up problems — and expensive problems — of dams all over California and probably the country."


The report says the Yolo and Sutter bypasses should be expanded as part of the Central Valley Flood Protection plan.

"It calls for a lot of important, not only environmental projects, but significant changes and expansions of the capabilities of flood-control systems in the Sacramento and San Joaquin basins," Stork said.

The authors of the report also call for the creation of new flood inundation maps and emergency action plans.

The report also recommends the Army Corps of Engineers review and update flood control manuals.

California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and American Whitewater also authored the report.

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