Oroville Independent Forensic Team Releases Final Report

  • by Will Holbert
  • Jan 5, 2018
  • Water News

The Oroville Spillways Independent Forensic Team (IFT) released its final report Jan. 5 on the causes leading to the February 2017 Lake Oroville Spillways incident.

According to the report’s summary, the incident “was caused by a long-term systemic failure of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), regulatory and general industry practices to recognize and address inherent spillway design and construction weaknesses, poor bedrock quality and deteriorated spillway service chute conditions. The incident cannot reasonably be ‘blamed’ mainly on any one individual, group or organization.”

DWR issued a statement in response to the 584-page report, stating it is in the process of fully reviewing it and intends to incorporate the latest findings into its ongoing efforts to maintain its own infrastructure and ensure dam safety across the state.

“We strongly supported having an independent assessment of the spillway failure and take the findings very seriously,” said DWR Director Grant Davis. “This report is consistent with the independent team’s initial technical findings from last May which were fully incorporated in the design of the reconstructed spillways. As we have done in the past, we will carefully assess this report, share it with the entire dam safety community and incorporate the lessons learned going forward to ensure California continues to lead the nation on dam safety.”

For more information, visit DWR’s Oroville Spillway Incident web page.

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