Dam Safety, Environmental, North America

DWR anticipates using repaired Oroville Main Spillway tomorrow

Due to forecasted storms in the Feather River basin, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) reports it has taken steps to prepare for use of the main spillway, for the first time since it was reconstructed, on April 2.

“DWR has restored full functionality to the Oroville main spillway and is operating the reservoir to ensure public safety of those downstream,” said DWR State Water Project Deputy Director Joel Ledesma. “The Oroville main spillway was designed and constructed using 21st century engineering practices and under the oversight and guidance from state and federal regulators and independent experts.”

At the time of the report, the Oroville Reservoir level was at 853 feet and DWR anticipated main spillway releases of 10,000 cfs to 20,000 cfs, with anticipated total releases to the Feather River of up to 30,000 cfs from the Oroville facilities and other natural inflows. DWR said it may increase releases to the Feather River again later this week to between 40,000 cfs and 60,000 cfs to prepare for forecasted inflows.

The main spillway and the emergency spillway have been reconstructed and able to handle flows as needed to manage reservoir levels and provide flood protection for the surrounding communities, DWR said.