Bureau of Reclamation’s proposed repairs for Fresno dam $ 71 million | State and regional
The dam was built to provide irrigation water to approximately 140,000 acres of land in eight irrigation districts, as well as to control flood waters and for certain municipal uses.
In 2013, the Bureau of Reclamation began to analyze the dam for structural issues. In 2019, a corrective action study was carried out to “reduce the risk of dam failure”. This resulted in the dam being designated as “urgent priority” with “very high risk or probability of failure” but not presenting any imminent danger.
As part of the EA, the Bureau of Reclamation produced a grim estimate of what could happen, and the estimated costs, if the dam failed.
More than 9,700 people in Le Havre are said to be in immediate danger as flooding would also damage farms and other residences up to 107 miles downstream. Losses could range from one to 77 people, depending on the circumstances and the time, with damage estimated at $ 1.8 billion. On top of that, the agency said the loss of the reservoir’s benefits for irrigators and recreation would amount to an additional $ 89.3 million.
“Without irrigation water, the lifeline of the Hi-Line would no longer exist,” said the EA.
The proposed works to correct the problems and avoid a dam failure include the construction of a “state of the art backfill liner” on the slope downstream of the dam and the installation of a vertical sand filter trench. basically. The existing foot drain would be removed to reduce the risk of internal erosion.