San Clemente Dam draw down - Time Lapse Video.
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Published on Aug 5, 2012
The San Clemente Dam was built in 1921 in upper Carmel Valley to supply water to the then-burgeoning population and tourism industry on the Monterey Peninsula. But the Carmel River naturally brings sediment from the mountains to the beaches -- sediment which over time collected behind the dam, slowly filling over 90 percent of the reservoir with debris and eroded soil. The San Clemente Reservoir no longer serves an important water supply function. The communities of the Monterey Peninsula now get their water from wells in Carmel Valley and Seaside.
At the time of construction, little was known about building for earthquake safety. However, studies conducted between 1980 and 1992, determined that the San Clemente Dam was seismically unfit and susceptible to a major flood event.
In January, 2010, a formal agreement was reached with California American Water and federal, state and local agencies, including the California Coastal Conservancy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that provides a framework to cooperatively remove the dam. It enables California American Water to resolve dam safety concerns through the lowest cost solution for ratepayers. This project demonstrates when public and private interests work together, benefits are realized far beyond what either could achieve alone.
In the years leading up to this historic agreement, California American Water, as the current owner and operator of the San Clemente Dam, was ordered to adopt interim safety measures. These included an annual drawdown of the reservoir, which required drilling holes through the dam to release hydraulic pressure with the first annual draw-down performed in 2003.
In this video, we witness the final draw down of the dam before the removal project begins, which is scheduled later this year.
We placed a time-lapse camera overlooking the dam during this month-and-a-half long process. You can see the sediment begin to show itself from beneath the falling water line at about 1:00 mark the video.
For more information and updates about this project, visit: http://www.sanclementedamremoval.org/
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