Updated Folsom Dam Water Control Manual signed

Written by: MP Region Public Affairs

Regional Director Ernest Conant signs Folsom Dam Water Control Manual June 12, 2019. (Reclamation photos by Winetta Owens)
Regional Director Ernest Conant signs Folsom Dam Water Control Manual June 12, 2019. (Reclamation photos by Winetta Owens)
FOLSOM, California - Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers representatives signed a revised Folsom Dam Water Control Manual at the dam on June 12, 2019, replacing a previous version last updated in 1987.

“The signing of this manual officially gives us the operational flexibility to increase water storage in the spring and to reduce downstream flood risk by using the latest forecasting technology,” said Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Regional Director Ernest Conant prior to co-signing the document.

The new manual recognizes and incorporates the fall 2017 completed Folsom Dam auxiliary spillway’s capabilities and guides operations for flood management. The auxiliary spillway is adjacent to the main dam and acts as a secondary dam. Its gates are 50 feet lower in elevation, making large flood releases possible since operators do not need to wait until the water rises high enough to reach Folsom Dam’s main gates.

“The revised Water Control Manual is significant because it’s the first time we’ve used forecast-informed decision-making to shape operations, and because we incorporated the newly-constructed auxiliary spillway in our planning considerations,” said Cherrie Peterson, Programs Director for the Corps’ South Pacific Division prior to co-signing the document. “It’s a testament to the hard work of many public servants.”

The Corps is the federal lead agency for control manuals and periodically reviews them to incorporate changes in infrastructure and weather intensity. Folsom Dam is operated by Reclamation as part of the Central Valley Project. Folsom Dam and Reservoir also produces hydroelectricity, helps to maintain water quality in the Bay Delta, provides recreation, and water for local municipal agencies.

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Published on June 13, 2019