Division of Safety of Dams
Since August 14, 1929, the State of California has regulated dams to prevent failure, safeguard life, and protect property. The California Water Code entrusts dam safety regulatory power to DWR, Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD). We provide oversight to the design, construction, and maintenance of over 1,200 jurisdictional sized dams in California.
We ensure dam safety by:
- Reviewing and approving dam enlargements, repairs, alterations, and removals to ensure that the dam appurtenant structures are designed to meet minimum requirements.
- Performing independent analyses to understand dam and appurtenant structures performance. These analyses can include structural, hydrologic, hydraulic, and geotechnical evaluations.
- Overseeing construction to ensure work is being done in accordance with the approved plans and specifications.
- Inspecting each dam on an annual basis to ensure it is safe, performing as intended, and is not developing issues. Roughly 1/3 of these inspections include in-depth instrumentation reviews of the dam surveillance network data.
- Periodically reviewing the stability of dams and their major appurtenances in light of improved design approaches and requirements, as well as new findings regarding earthquake hazards and hydrologic estimates in California.
Information regarding the supervision of dams is provided here to better serve the public, dam owners, and applicants.
Statutes and Regulations
The complete Statutes and adopted Regulations pertaining to the California Dam Safety Program:
Regulations adopted by DWR
Annual Fees Regulations (Proposed Emergency Regulations)
- Notice of Proposed Emergency Regulations (March 8, 2018)
- Finding of Emergency (March 8, 2018)
- Proposed Annual Fee Regulations (March 8, 2018)
Inundation Map Regulations (Emergency Regulations adopted by DWR)
- Finding of Emergency
- FEMA 333 (2004): Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety
- FEMA P-946 (2013): Federal Guidelines for Inundation Mapping
FERC Engineering Guidelines for the Evaluation of Hydropower Projects, Ch. VI: Emergency Action Plans
FERC Engineering Guidelines for the Evaluation of Hydropower Projects, Ch. II: Selecting and Accommodating Inflow Design Floods for Dams
Dams within Jurisdiction of the State of California
Information about each jurisdictional dam was obtained from applications and plans submitted by owners, surveys, supplementary information acquired during inspections, and special studies. View the publications section below for more information.
- DSOD Current Practices for Supervision of Dams and Regulations
- Application for Approval of Plans and Specifications for the Construction or Enlargement of a Dam and Reservoir
- Outline of Procedures for Construction or Enlargement of Dams and Reservoirs within State Jurisdiction
- Application for Approval of Plans and Specifications for the Repair or Alteration of a Dam and Reservoir
- Outline of Procedures for the Repair or Alteration of Dams and Reservoirs within State Jurisdiction
- Application for Approval of Plans and Specifications for the Removal of a Dam and Reservoir
- Cost Affidavit for Work Complete under Application-Construction, Enlargement, Alteration or Repair of a Dam and Reservoir
- Ownership Statement for Jurisdictional Dam and Reservoir
- Application filing fee structure for Dam and Reservoir within State Jurisdiction
DSOD Technical References
- Dams Within Jurisdiction of the State of California (Alphabetically by County)
- Dams Within Jurisdiction of the State of California (Alphabetically by Name)
- DSOD Dam Rating Information and FAQs
- DSOD Dam Rating List FAQs
- Jurisdictional Dams Listed Alphabetically by Reservoir Name
- Jurisdictional Dams Receiving Additional Spillway Re-evaluation