Dam Safety, Environmental, News, North America

Reclamation submits report to advance B.F. Sisk Dam safety modification work

With the submission of the B.F. Sisk Dam Safety of Dams Modification Report to Congress, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation moved forward on work on its “largest dam safety project” under the 1978 Safety of Dams Act.

This work is expected to cost $1.1 billion and, when complete, will modernize the structure to reduce risk to water supply and downstream communities in an earthquake.

B.F. Sisk Dam is a large embankment dam in California’s Central Valley that was constructed by Reclamation and is operated in partnership with California’s Department of Water Resources. The modification report describes the need for safety modifications and proposes corrective actions, along with other pertinent technical information applicable to B.F. Sisk Dam.

“B.F. Sisk Dam and San Luis Reservoir provide vital storage for both the federal Central Valley Project and California State Water Project,” said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. “Reclamation’s proposed modifications offer the best balance of cost, constructability and risk reduction, and preserve all the benefits that the dam and reservoir currently provide.”

Reclamation has concluded that structural modifications are necessary to ensure the dam can safely and reliably perform while continuing to serve its many beneficiaries. The report presents in detail the technical, economic, environmental and other pertinent considerations supporting Reclamation’s conclusion.

Reclamation is the nation’s largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation opportunities, and environmental benefits.