The Oroville Dam, California, and the US

As of Thursday night, Lake Oroville stands at 32 ft (9 M) below the emergency spillway intake. The California Department of Water & Power (DWP) has managed to do this despite additional rain/snow in the last 24 hours because the main spillway despite being damaged has not deteriorated any further. The DWP is planning to take it down to 50 ft. below the intake and keep it there til they’ve got a permanent fix in place.

What this means is that the evacuation song and dance is not likely to be repeated this spring. WHEEWWW!

My concern is that the severely dysfunctional California legislature might still not allocate funds to perform proper repairs to both spillways, repairs estimated to cost at least $150 million. If they don’t, i hope that the Feds step in. With the turmoil at top, though, who knows what will happen?

I don’t live in California any more, but I live in its shadow, as does much of the inter-mountain west and southwast. To a lesser but significant extent, so do all Americans. One out of nine Americans is Californian (about 11% of the US population). One in seven dollars generated by the US economy in 2014 came form California (about 14% of the GDP). California’s problems affect us all.

I REALLY hope they get their act together.

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