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Division of Safety of Dams

Division of Safety of Dams
Department of Water Resources

Street Address:
2200 X Street, Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95818

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 942836
Sacramento, CA 94236-0001

Telephone #: (916) 227-4644

E-Mail General Information:
damsafety@water.ca.gov

Emergency Action Planning

Because of California’s seasonal and climatic conditions, water storage is critical. Dams help reserve the water necessary for agriculture, hydroelectric power, recreational activities, environmental protection, and a stable drinking water supply. They are also critical tools in flood control. Along with their many benefits, dams present formidable consequences if not properly designed, built, and maintained.

All dam owners in California must be prepared for the inevitability of earthquakes and flooding. However, even without large-scale natural disasters, there are numerous causes of failure that can occur under less extreme conditions. A brochure regarding California’s Dam Safety Program can be downloaded HERE.

DSOD encourages all dam owners to consider the appropriate level of emergency planning warranted for their respective dam in order to guide the response during serious dam incidents. Although we do not review or oversee the preparation of emergency procedures intended for local or regional needs, we recommend that an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) be developed for dams which, in the event of failure or uncontrolled release, could endanger downstream life or property. Once developed, the EAP should be regularly updated and exercised.

The following links contain information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and also a sample EAP created by DSOD and California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) to give guidance on emergency action planning and dam safety.