Annual & Application Dam Fees

Since 2003, DSOD has been funded entirely from the combination of dam application and annual fees.  Senate Bill 92 2017 (Chapter 26, Statues of 2017) was signed into law and removed the annual fee schedule set forth in the Senate Bill 1049 2003 (Chapter 741, Statutes of 2003).  Senate Bill 92 required the department to develop a new schedule for annual fees by emergency regulations, based in part on dam height.  The emergency regulations for the annual fee schedule were approved by the Office of Administrative Law on March 26, 2018.  The fee structure for application filing fees remains unchanged.

These fees support a wide variety of activities, including the annual inspections of dams in certified status; application review and construction inspection work; engineering studies that include hydrologic, structural, and seismic stability re-evaluations; emergency response; and review and approval of mandated flood inundation maps of dams and critical appurtenant structures for emergency preparedness.

Annual Fees

Each dam in our jurisdiction pays an annual fee as outlined in section 6307 of the Water Code.  Effective May 1, 2019, permanent annual fee regulations under the California Code of Regulations, Title 23, Division 2, Chapter, 1 Article 3, section 315 went into effect that include a new fee formula beginning Fiscal Year 2020/21. The new formula includes an additional surcharge on critical appurtenant structures (CAS), which redistributes annual fees to more closely align a dam’s annual fee with the additional regulatory oversight required for dams that have CAS.  The current fees for jurisdictional dams are:

 

Annual Fee = Admin Fee+ Dam Fee+  CAS Fee**
General Rate*
Annual Fee =
$858 $201 per foot of height  0.3883 x $201 per foot of height x No. of applicable CAS***
Reduced Rate* 
Annual Fee =
$172 $40 per foot
of height
 0.3883 x $40 per foot of height x No. of applicable CAS***


* Inoperable dams pay the Limited Rate, which is only the Admin Fee.

** CAS Fee does not apply to dams with a "Low" downstream hazard classification.
***
Maximum number of CAS is not to exceed two (2).

The fee height of a dam, as determined by DSOD, is the vertical distance measured from the lowest point at the downstream toe of the dam to its maximum storage elevation, which is typically the spillway crest.

Application Fees

Application fees are required for all construction, enlargements, repairs, alterations, and removals of dams and appurtenant structures, as outlined in section 6300 of the Water Code. The full fee amount should be submitted with the application and plans, specifications, and supporting documents. The filing fee for an application is based upon the estimated cost according to the schedule; see Fees For Applications: Schedule (within State Jurisdiction) (PDF).

We generally require that the fee be submitted in full by the time the 30 percent design submittal is made. Staged fee installments can be arranged, commensurate with the design stage, for major projects when the design phase will exceed 1 year.

If a project is terminated for any reason, a minimum of 20 percent of the total fee due is considered a non-refundable deposit. The remaining 80 percent of the fee is dependent on time, case, and work expended by DSOD.

Application Fee Calculation Tool

We provide an application fee calculation tool for your assistance. This online tool allows the calculation of the application fee based on the cost of the project. The use of this tool should be for validation only. If you encounter any problems using this tool, contact us.

The application filing fee required shall be based on the fee structure listed below. The use of this tool should be for validation only. If you encounter any problems in using this tool, please contact us.

Application Fee Calculator

Note:

The minimum filing fee is $300, and the filing fees are rounded to the nearest dollar. In the event the actual cost exceeds the estimated cost by more than 15 percent, a further fee will be required by the department. The further fee will be calculated as 115% of the difference between the fee based on the actual cost and the application fee already paid. If a project is terminated for any reason, a minimum of twenty percent of the total fee due is considered a non-refundable deposit.

Cost items include:

  • The cost of all labor and materials entering into the construction of the dam and appurtenant works or reservoir.
  • The cost of preliminary investigations and surveys.
  • The cost of the construction plant properly chargeable to the cost of the dam or reservoir.
  • Labor costs related to the preparation of required environmental documents under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
  • Any and all other items entering directly into the cost of the dam or reservoir.

The costs of right-of-way, detached powerhouses, electrical generating machinery, roads and rails affording access to the dam or reservoir, and permitting fees shall not be included among the items used in the determination of cost. Also, costs associated with public hearings, environmental site surveys, permitting, mitigation, compliance monitoring, or other aspects of the CEQA process not directly related to dam safety are generally excluded.

Contact Us

General Information

Phone: (916) 565-7868 Email: damsafety@water.ca.gov

View additional information on the DSOD contact page

 

Mailing Address:

     Division of Safety of Dams

     P.O. Box 942836

     Sacramento, CA 94236-0001

Street Address:

     Division of Safety of Dams

     2720 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 300
     Sacramento, CA 95833