DWR plans to use Oroville spillway on Tuesday

Releases of water from Lake Oroville into the Feather River via the reconstructed main spillway are expected on Tuesday

Posted: Mar 31, 2019 11:22 AM
Updated: Apr 1, 2019 12:48 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif.  The main spillway of Oroville Dam may be used for the first time since it was reconstructed. The date the Department of Water Resources (DWR) plans to use the spillway to empty water from the rising reservoir is Tuesday, April 2, 2019.

The action is being taken to due expected storms and runoff from rain that is expected this coming week.

"DWR has restored full functionality to the Oroville main spillway and is operating the reservoir to ensure public safety of those downstream,” said DWR State Water Project Deputy Director Joel Ledesma.

“The Oroville main spillway was designed and constructed using 21st-century engineering practices and under the oversight and guidance from state and federal regulators and independent experts," Ledesma said.

The information below reflects the current reservoir level estimates. Forecasts can change quickly and may affect the estimates provided.

  • Current Oroville Reservoir level: 853 feet
  • Anticipated Main Spillway Releases: between 10,000 cubic-feet per second (cfs) and 20,000 cfs 
  • Anticipated Total Releases to the Feather River: up to 30,000 cfs from Oroville facilities and other natural inflows

DWR may increase releases to the Feather River again later this week to between 40,000 and 60,000 cfs to prepare for forecasted inflows.

The main spillway and the emergency spillway are reconstructed and able to handle flows as needed to manage reservoir levels and provide flood protection for the surrounding communities said DWR officials on Saturday. They said public safety and flood protection are DWR’s top priority in operational decisions regarding Oroville reservoir. 

 Oro Dam Blvd. East will be open to pedestrian and vehicle traffic unless flows from the main spillway exceed 30,000 cfs. If spillway flows exceed 30,000 cfs, the road will be closed to ensure public safety.


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