Lake Oroville Community Update- November 15, 2019


Aerial view of Bidwell Bar Bridge.

Aerial view of Bidwell Bar Bridge, Lake Oroville. DWR/2019

UPDATE: The Lake Oroville Community Updates will be distributed bi-weekly beginning Friday, November 22.

California Natural Resources Agency to Host Second Oroville Dam Citizens Advisory Commission Public Meeting

The California Natural Resources Agency is hosting its second Citizens Advisory Commission meeting on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. The meeting will begin with a site visit to Oroville Dam followed by a public meeting with presentations and the opportunity for public comment. The site visit and meeting are both open to members of the community.

The site visit will convene at the Oroville Dam Overlook Parking Area at the north end of Oroville Dam Crest/Oroville Dam Road from 8:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. Department of Water Resources staff will provide an overview of Oroville Dam facilities and answer questions from Commission members and the public. The Commission meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Southside Community Center, 2959 Lower Wyandotte Road, Oroville and end at 1 p.m. Additional information and directions can be found here.

The Oroville Dam Citizens Advisory Commission, created by Senate Bill 955 (Nielsen) in 2018, established a new public forum for discussing issues related to Oroville Dam facilities. The Commission, housed within the California Natural Resources Agency, represents the communities surrounding Oroville Dam for the purposes of providing public input and receiving information from state agencies related to the Oroville Dam, including its appurtenant structures, the Feather River Fish Hatchery, and the Oroville-Thermalito Complex.

Access to Spillway Boat Ramp Area Closed Monday Morning for Lighting Work

Work to install new main spillway lighting will require closure of the access road to the Spillway Boat Ramp area on Monday, November 18, from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The temporary closure will help insure worker safety. Dam Crest/Oroville Dam Road will remain open to vehicles as well as pedestrians and bicyclists from the south end of Oroville Dam to the Overlook Parking Lot. Vehicle access to the Spillway Boat Ramp area will resume at 1 p.m. Monday, returning to the winter access hours of 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Noteworthy News

~~ This week, KCRA Sacramento produced a feature highlighting the lessons learned from the Oroville spillways incident and the current safety status of the reconstructed Oroville spillways. The feature discussed new safety measures implemented since the incident, including Oroville Dam’s compliance with requirements for additional emergency action safety plans as well as new, different sounding sirens on Butte County Sheriff’s Office vehicles to signal evacuation alerts to the public.

~~ Residents in Butte, Yuba, Sutter and Sacramento counties received an insert titled “Oroville Dam: Part of our Community” in their Sacramento Valley newspapers as part of DWR’s ongoing effort to educate and inform the public about the role Oroville Dam and the State Water Project play in managing and protecting our state’s water systems. The informational insert provides information about the history of Oroville Dam, the benefits it provides for the Oroville community and surrounding region, how the facility is operated and maintained, and the reconstruction efforts on the main and emergency spillways. Copies of the insert are available at the Oroville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Spillway Boat Ramp Area Holiday and Winter Access Hours

The new winter access schedule for Lake Oroville’s Spillway Boat Ramp Area allows the public daily access to the area from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Motorists are urged to turn on headlights and pay attention to pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

Walkers, joggers and bicyclists continue to enjoy daily access on the pedestrian lane on the lakeside of Dam Crest/Oroville Dam Road from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., as well as parking at the Upper Overlook. These access hours for the Dam Crest/Oroville Dam Road will remain the same through the winter months.

Current Lake Operations

The elevation of Oroville reservoir is 780 feet and storage is just under 2 million acre-feet. There is no rainfall in the 5-day forecast for the Feather River watershed and daily average inflows to the lake have ranged between 1,700 cfs to 2,100 cfs over the past week. Water releases from Lake Oroville are about 3,650 cfs and will vary throughout the day and week based upon power generation schedules.  Water from the lake continues to be used locally for rice decomposition and waterfowl habitat and released to meet environmental and flow requirements in the Feather River, as well as downstream in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The scheduled releases to the high flow channel of the Feather River, downstream of the Thermalito Afterbay River Outlet, are 2,450 cfs.