Officials Release Water in Oroville Spillway's First Test
The California Dept. of Water Resources (DWR) began releasing water from Oroville Reservoir earlier this month for the first time since the two-year, $1.1-billion emergency spillway reconstruction project was completed late last year. The winter season’s heavy rains and deep snowpack, as well as forecasted additional storms, necessitated the releases to manage lake levels, currently at 854 ft. The flow over the rebuilt concrete spillway, gentle at first, roared to 25,000 cu ft per second on April 6. Federal and state regulators and DWR experts “agree that the Oroville main spillway is performing as designed,” according to a DWR spokesperson. Further releases are expected to manage snowmelt. Site reconstruction continues, with completion expected this fall.