Code Section Group

Water Code - WAT

DIVISION 3. DAMS AND RESERVOIRS [6000 - 6612]

  ( Heading of Division 3 amended by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1225. )

PART 1. SUPERVISION OF DAMS AND RESERVOIRS [6000 - 6470]

  ( Heading of Part 1 amended by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1225. )

CHAPTER 4. Powers of the Department [6075 - 6162]

  ( Chapter 4 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 368. )

ARTICLE 2. Maintenance and Operation [6100 - 6103]
  ( Article 2 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 368. )

6100.
  

Supervision over the maintenance and operation of dams and reservoirs insofar as necessary to safeguard life and property from injury by reason of the failure thereof is vested in the department.

(Amended by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1225.)

6101.
  

The department may require owners to keep records of, and to report on, maintenance, operation, staffing, and engineering and geologic investigations and shall issue such rules and regulations and orders as necessary to secure maintenance and operation and to require staffing and engineering and geologic investigations which will safeguard life and property. In addition, the owner of a dam or reservoir or his agent shall fully and promptly advise the department of any sudden or unprecedented flood or unusual or alarming circumstance or occurrence affecting the dam or reservoir.

(Amended by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1225.)

6102.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) The Division of Safety of Dams as part of the department inspects and reevaluates its jurisdictional dams and reservoirs for the purpose of determining their safety.

(b) Globally and nationally, there is recognition that, as with all aging infrastructure, there is an unmet need regarding dam maintenance and repairs. California needs to continue to lead efforts to address these unmet needs, and improve upon standards set by regulatory agencies to ensure public safety.

(c) In order to ensure the safe operation of dams and to maintain public confidence in dam safety, the Division of Safety of Dams must inspect dams within its jurisdiction once per fiscal year with the exception of low hazard potential dams which will receive inspections every two fiscal years at a minimum. California’s dam safety procedures must stay on par with, or ahead of, best practices and must continually update those procedures based on the best available knowledge.

(d) In order to ensure that the practices of the Division of Safety of Dams continue to reflect the best available knowledge, and in light of the recommendations arising from the independent Forensic Team’s review of the Oroville Dam spillway incident, the Division must consult with independent dam safety and dam safety risk management organizations to propose additions to the Division’s existing dam safety program in order to incorporate updated best practices to ensure public safety, as set forth in Section 6103.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 3, Sec. 2. (AB 1270) Effective February 26, 2018.)

6102.5.
  

(a) The department shall inspect dams, reservoirs, and appurtenant structures to verify their safety in accordance with the following schedule:

(1) A facility that has been determined by the department, pursuant to Section 6160, to have a hazard classification of significant, high, or extremely high, shall be inspected at least once per fiscal year.

(2) A facility that has been determined by the department, pursuant to Section 6160, to have a hazard classification of low shall be inspected at least once every two fiscal years.

(b) The department shall require owners to perform, at the owner’s expense, such work as necessary to disclose information sufficient to enable the department to determine conditions of dams, reservoirs, and critical appurtenant structures regarding their safety and to perform, at the owner’s expense, other work necessary to secure maintenance and operation that will safeguard life and property. An inspection pursuant to subdivision (a) shall include, but is not limited to, visual inspection of major features of the dam, including its groins, abutments, and toe areas, the dam’s spillway, and the dam’s outlet works. The inspection shall also evaluate seepage and instrumentation, and include a review of available geological data and existing geological conditions.

(c) An owner of a dam shall operate critical outlet and spillway control features on an annual basis and shall demonstrate their full operability in the presence of the department every three years or as directed by the department.

(d) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), dam inspection reports conducted by the Division of Safety of Dams shall be public records subject to the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).

(2) (A) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the department, in accordance with applicable law and in consultation with the dam owner and relevant local, state, or federal public safety entities, may withhold from public release sensitive data, images, or other information that discloses a dam’s vulnerability or poses a security threat.

(B) If the department withholds information pursuant to subparagraph (A), the department shall include in the public release a statement of findings that the withheld information would disclose a dam’s vulnerability or pose a security threat, as described in subparagraph (A).

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 3, Sec. 3. (AB 1270) Effective February 26, 2018.)

6103.
  

(a) (1) On or before January 1, 2019, the Division of Safety of Dams, in consultation with independent, national dam safety and dam safety risk management organizations, including, but not limited to, the Association of State Dam Safety Officials and the United States Society on Dams, shall propose amendments to its dam safety inspection and reevaluation protocols to incorporate updated best practices, including risk management, to ensure public safety.

(2) Each proposed amendment, at minimum, shall provide an estimated range of potential cost to implement the new protocol and resulting required remediation, if any. The proposed amendments shall specify which dams the protocol applies to.

(3) The amendments proposed in paragraph (1) shall provide, at a minimum, that re-evaluations of extremely high hazard and high hazard dams include the review of the original design and construction, geotechnical, structural, hydraulic, hydrological, geologic, seismic hazard, monitoring and instrumentation, and overall dam performance, as applicable to the feature being re-evaluated.

(b) (1) Every ten years, the Division of Safety of Dams, in consultation with national dam safety organizations, shall reassess the previously adopted amendments and propose additional amendments as necessary. This section does not preclude more frequent revisions as needed.

(2) The department shall notify dam owners and the Legislature of the Division of Safety of Dams’ intent to update its dam safety inspection and reevaluation protocols prior to amending the protocols. The department shall also provide notice on its public Internet Web site of the planned update and the schedule for the update.

(3) The department shall make its dam safety inspection and reevaluation protocols and any updates to the protocols available on its Internet Web site.

(c) (1) The department shall report to the Governor and the Legislature on the amendments developed pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b) and shall continue to coordinate with appropriate federal entities.

(2) A report to be submitted to the Legislature pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 3, Sec. 4. (AB 1270) Effective February 26, 2018.)

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