The Challenge of Maintaining Older Dams

February 22, 2017

California's Oroville Dam has had the spotlight this week and last as unprecedented amounts of rain has fallen on the west coast. The combination of time, water and questionable maintenance has resulted in gaping holes in the protective spillways. While the flooding in the area has been severe, the dams have held - so far.  

A Washington Times article, 2 Dams Illustrate Challenge Of Maintaining Older Designs, discusses the challenges dam designers and engineers have overcome, as well as the conditions never thought of when many of the 1950s era dams were built.

“Fifty years ago, when we were evaluating flood risk, the fundamental assessment was the climate was stable, not changing. We now know that is no longer true,” said Peter Gleick, chief scientist with the Pacific Institute, a California-based think tank specializing in water issues.

Read what these experts have to say here:

For additional local coverage of the Oroville Spillway situation, click here: