CBS News » The average age of the 90,580 dams located across the U.S is 56 years, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. ASCE says that in just 10 years, the number of at-risk dams has grown from 10 percent to 17 percent. One reason: Many are earthen dams, and the aging and crumbling structures are barely holding back nearby lakes and rivers.
Chico Enterprise-Record » An independent review board hired by the state Department of Water Resources Oroville Dam has released its first report with an eye toward improving the facility’s future operations. Among the suggestions: a second gated spillway, improved monitoring, and clear operational planning that takes into account the impact of climate change on the dam’s functions. (The webpage includes an embedded copy of the independent report.)
California Department of Water » Crews continue to place leveling concrete on the upper chute of the Lake Oroville main spillway, while other workers install forms over a structural rebar panel to prepare for the placement of more structural concrete. Meanwhile, mechanical demolition continues on the dentates, the big tooth-like structures that disperse water at the bottom of the main spillway.
Chico Enterprise-Record » The state Department of Water Resources has beefed up its response to the independent forensic report on what caused the Oroville Dam spillway failure last year. A revised dam safety policy, which will “further define roles and responsibilities” of the executive-level engineer, the chief dam safety engineer and other related State Water Project divisions, should be released by the end of the year.
Chico Enterprise-Record » The state Department of Water Resources says it may appeal a Butte County Superior Court judge’s ruling that allows the Butte County District Attorney’s environmental lawsuit to continue. This comes as Judge Stephen Benson overruled DWR’s demurrer, or objection to the lawsuit.