News Release Archive

Reclamation To Conduct Further Study At Potential Dam Site

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212,
Gerald Kelso, (509) 575-5848 ext. 202,

For Release: November 30, 2005

Who: The Bureau of Reclamation.

What: Geological investigations presently under way at the potential Black Rock dam site involve drilling two holes, one at each end of the potential dam site, both about 450 feet to 600 feet in depth.

When: The geological investigation started on November 22, 2005, and is expected to be completed during the spring of 2006.

Where: The potential Black Rock dam site is about 25 miles east of Yakima, Washington.

Why: The exploratory work is necessary to define the extent of the underground Black Rock Valley fault and also to assess information about possible seepage at the potential dam's foundation and possible leakage along the valley walls where the potential reservoir would be situated. Core samples collected during the test drilling will also be used to assess the depth of excavation needed for a suitable foundation for the potential dam.

This activity is part of Reclamation's Yakima River Basin Water Storage Feasibility Study, authorized by Congress in February 2003. Additional information about the study is located at The results of the study will be made public in 2006.

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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.