DWR Convenes Inaugural Community-Led Meeting for Oroville Dam Safety Comprehensive Needs Assessment


An aerial view of Bidwell Bar Bridge at Lake Oroville.

An aerial view of Bidwell Bar Bridge at Lake Oroville on June 18, 2018.

SACRAMENTO Today, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) convened the inaugural meeting of a community-led group of local elected officials and stakeholder organizations – known as the Ad Hoc Group – as part of the recently initiated Oroville Dam Safety Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA).

The Ad Hoc Group consists of 12 community members appointed by State Senator Jim Nielsen and Assembly Member James Gallagher to provide community perspectives to both DWR and an Independent Review Board (IRB) of dam safety experts throughout the assessment process. The CNA will identify ways to improve and enhance the long-term integrity of the Oroville Dam complex to ensure public safety for downstream communities.


“It’s important we have an open dialogue with the community as we move through this important assessment to ensure public safety and dam safety,” said Joel Ledesma, DWR Deputy Director for the State Water Project. “We will incorporate the community’s feedback whenever possible and look forward to this collaborative process.”


The Ad Hoc Group will meet regularly with DWR and the IRB to be briefed on elements of the CNA so its members can inform the community interest groups they represent. The Ad Hoc Group will also provide feedback and perspectives from the broader community to the IRB as the CNA is developed.


"With this collaborative effort, our community looks forward to working with DWR officials to provide input on the impacts of Oroville's operations on our businesses and lives, said Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama). “We appreciate DWR's progress."


Senator Nielsen was joined by Assembly Member James Gallagher in expressing optimism about the CNA process.


“I appreciate DWR involving representatives from the public to be involved in this process,” said Assembly Member James Gallagher (R-Yuba City). “I am looking forward to a productive dialogue and ultimately making the facility safer for downstream communities.” 


The CNA is expected to be completed by the end of 2019 and sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the California Division of Safety of Dams. It will include a final report with recommendations for next steps and future projects. The CNA process is led by DWR, as the owner of Oroville Dam, and is supported by the IRB, which will conduct and document independent technical reviews throughout the process.


All Ad Hoc Group meetings will be video recorded and posted online. Meeting summaries and other documents related to the CNA, IRB, and Ad Hoc Group are available on the Oroville Dam Safety Comprehensive Needs Assessment website. View the first IRB memo.


Erin Mellon, Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Department of Water Resources

(916) 651-2440 | erin.mellon@water.ca.gov




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