Too Much Water Behind Oroville Dam? Critics Say Corps Standards Unsafe

"Long before a fractured spillway plunged Oroville Dam into the gravest crisis in its 48-year history, officials at a handful of downstream government agencies devised a plan they believed would make the dam safer: Store less water there.

Sutter County, Yuba City and a regional levee-maintenance agency brought their recommendation to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2006, when FERC was considering the state’s application to relicense Oroville Dam.

Their plan, unveiled nearly a decade after heavy rains breached downstream levees and caused severe flooding along the Feather River, called for reducing water storage at Lake Oroville by 150,000 acre-feet during winter. That would have reduced maximum water levels in the reservoir, as set by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, by about 11 feet."

Dale Kasler, Ryan Sabalow and Phillip Reese report for the Sacramento Bee/McClatchy March 13, 2017.

Source: McClatchy, 03/14/2017