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Boca Dam Safety of Dams Project

B.F. Sisk
Boca Dam Terminal Dam


Boca Dam, Truckee Storage Project, California

Reclamation has initiated a Corrective Action Study to identify and develop alternatives to strengthen Boca Dam and reduce the risk of earthquake damage.  The dam is located in Nevada County, California, about 5 miles northeast of the City of Truckee, on the confluence with the Truckee River. 

Boca Dam is located in a seismically active area.  Exploration and analyses indicate that foundation materials beneath the dam may be susceptible to loss of strength during a major earthquake.  The loss of strength, known as liquefaction, could result in substantial consequences, although the possibility of dam failure is remote.  Analyses also indicate the dam’s concrete spillway may have seismic deficiencies. 

Boca Dam was completed in 1939 and has a structural height of 116 feet and a crest length of 1,630 feet.  The dam provides flood protection for Reno and Sparks, Nevada.  The dam impounds Boca Reservoir, which has a storage capacity of 41,141 acre-feet at water surface elevation 5605.  The reservoir is used to regulate the Truckee River and provide water for irrigation, recreation, fish and wildlife benefits, and drought supplies for municipal and industrial users in the Reno metropolitan area.  The dam is owned by Reclamation and operated and maintained by the Washoe County Water Conservation District.

Status:  Field investigations to characterize the foundation materials were completed in 2013.  Borrow material investigations will be completed in 2014.  The corrective action study will be completed in the spring of 2014 followed by final design of the preferred alternative.  A modification of the dam, dike, and spillway is not expected until 2016 or later.

For additional information, please contact MP Region Safety of Dams  or call  916-978-5537

Last updated on: February 25, 2014