News Release Archive

Reclamation to Increase Flows on the Lower American River to Manage Flood Control Requirements

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, 916 978 5100,

For Release: December 21, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – On Friday, December 21, between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., the Bureau of Reclamation will increase releases from Folsom and Nimbus dams to the lower American River from 7,000 cubic feet per second to 10,000 cfs. The releases are for flood control management in accordance with Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency’s Flood Control Diagram, which identifies the required space availability needed in Folsom Reservoir during the rain and snowmelt runoff season each year.

Increased releases will be visible from Folsom Dam’s lower river outlets but no water will flow out of the upper river outlets or come over the spillway.

At Nimbus Dam, releases will increase to 10,000 cfs, half of which will continue to pass through the powerplant, and the remaining will pass through two of Nimbus’ 18 spillway gates, causing the river level to rise as much as 18 inches. Folsom and Nimbus dams, features of the Central Valley Project, are located about 25 miles east of Sacramento.

People recreating in or along the lower American River downstream from Folsom Dam to the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers at Discovery Park should take appropriate safety precautions due to the increased flows.

Daily information on expected flows in the American River is available on the Department of Water Resources California Data Exchange Center website at or from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ website at

For additional information on the operations of the Folsom and Nimbus facilities, please visit Reclamation’s Central Valley Operation Office website at

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.