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, which accounts for about 85 to 90 percent of our Dam Safety program budget, as outlined in section 6307 of the Water Code. The current fees for jurisdictional dams are:

  • General Rate: $841 per dam, plus $235 per foot of height 
  • Reduced Rate: Farm and ranch dams or Small and private owned dams less than 100 acre-feet (AF): $168 per dam, plus $47 per foot of height
  • Limited Rate: Inoperable Dams and Special Exclusion: $841 per dam under General Rate and $168 per dam under the Reduced Rate

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. These fees account for about 10 to 15 percent of the DSOD program budget. 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

Enter the Total Estimated Cost of Work:

3.00% For the First $ 300,000

2.00% Next $ 700,000

1.50% Next $ 1,000,000

1.25% Next $ 1,000,000

1.00% Next $ 2,000,000

0.75% Next $ 2,000,000

0.50% for all in excess of $7 Million

Total Fee to Be Paid :

  1. The minimum filing fee is $300, and the filling fees are rounded to the nearest dollar.

  2. 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.

  3. For a list of cost items included and excluded, reference the following schedule (PDF).

  4. If a project is terminated for any reason, a minimum of twenty percent of the total fee due is considered a non-refundable deposit.

Related Pages

Contact Us

General Information

Phone: (916) 227-4644 Email:

View additional information on the DSOD contact sheet. 


Mailing Address:

     P.O. Box 942836

     Sacramento, CA 94236-0001

Street Address:

     2200 X Street, Suite 200
     Sacramento, CA 95818