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Feds order Santa Clara County’s biggest reservoir to be drained due to earthquake collapse risk

Feds order Santa Clara County’s biggest reservoir to be drained due to earthquake collapse risk

RE: Feds order Santa Clara County’s biggest reservoir to be drained due to earthquake collapse risk

Quote:

During test borings in 2008, consultants found that the dam’s foundation was not built on solid bedrock in the 1950s. Rather, there is some sand and gravel under it, which could liquefy in a big quake, causing the dam potentially to slump and fail.

That was 12 years ago. I wonder what the potential loss of life was determined to be.

Tangentially... here's a poignant song by Frank Black and the Catholics (and great video that tells the story) about the St. Francis Dam disaster of 1928 which killed over 450 when it collapsed:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyRKUIm_74E

RE: Feds order Santa Clara County’s biggest reservoir to be drained due to earthquake collapse risk

Not an over reaction.
Dam failure has a potential for particularly large impact - and loss of life.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dam_failure

Dam safety history in the US
https://damsafety.org/sites/default/files/National...
https://damsafety.org/
https://www.fema.gov/national-dam-safety-program

Of course bringing fixing dam safety problems can be quite costly, so the can was kicked down the road for 12 years. How much risk should we be willing to accept on waiting to fund a solution to a "life safety" problem like this?
Fred


RE: Feds order Santa Clara County’s biggest reservoir to be drained due to earthquake collapse risk

Think this is why.

"Three years ago, FERC and the State Department of Water Resources came under criticism after the spillway at Oroville Dam in Butte County, the nation’s tallest dam, crumbled during heavy winter storms, causing the emergency evacuation of nearly 200,000 people. As a result, both agencies have taken a sharper view of safety."

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