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Canal Safety

Throughout Reclamation's history, canals have been constructed in the West to deliver project benefits.  Since their construction, Reclamation, in concert with its operating entities, has successfully performed periodic field reviews and examinations to identify and address concerns related to the operation, maintenance, and safety of its canals.

When these canals were constructed, they were located generally in rural areas, where the major impact of canal failure was the loss of project benefits.  However, with increased urbanization occurring on lands below many canals, loss of life or significant property/economic damage can now result from failure.

In light of this increased urbanization, Reclamation and its operating entities must collectively ensure that our continuing efforts to assess and monitor the condition of these canals are effective, and that operating entities have emergency response plans in place in the unlikely event of failure.  The majority of these canals are typically transferred works with operation and maintenance (O&M) responsibility transferred to operating entities.  In the spirit of increased efficiency, transparency, and accountability fostered through the recent Managing for Excellence initiative, Reclamation would like to collaborate with our partners who operate these transferred facilities to determine the best approach for addressing these changing conditions.

Denver Meeting, Spring 2008

On May 14, 2008, Reclamation held a special meeting with transferred works operating entitites and key Reclamation staff primarily to discuss issues related to the operation and maintenance, and safety of canals located in urbanized areas.

The meeting notes and presentations are now available. More...

Last Updated: June 9, 2008