Averting Crises in California
With over 38 million residents, the State of California is the most populous state in the nation and has the third largest land area, encompassing approximately 163,695 square miles. The state faces numerous risks and threats and is prone to earthquakes, floods, significant wildfires, prolonged drought impacts, public health emergencies, cybersecurity attacks, agricultural and animal disasters, as well threats to homeland security. California Governor’s Office of Emergency Service (Cal OES) takes a proactive approach to addressing these risks, threats, and vulnerabilities that form the basis of their mission and has been tested through real events, as well as comprehensive exercises that help them maintain their state of readiness and plan for and mitigate impacts. Today, Cal OES performs its broader mission by administering numerous programs that support their stakeholders, protect our communities, and help create a resilient California.
In February 2017, the Oroville Dam in Butte County, California underwent a crisis when their main and emergency spillways were damaged after heavy rainfall, prompting the evacuation of more than 180,000 people living downstream along the Feather River. This crisis gave rise to the development and implementation of a Dam Safety Management Database (DSMD) application which serves as a web-based workflow system and central repository for all inundation maps and emergency action plans (EAPs), including all dam relevant files, documents, and correspondence.
Capio Group, in accordance with the Department of Water Resources and the Dam Emergency Action Planning Division, developed and implemented the DSMD and it now functions as the primary method for users to update inundation maps, EAPs, monitor EAP status, conduct EAP reviews, and generate outgoing correspondence.
The information collected into the database integrates with Cal OES’ GIS data visualization capability, and acts as a response tool for emergency responders at headquarters and in the field. The DSMD is illustrated via a main dashboard of the entire dam population and/or individual dam profiles. The application can also send alerts/messages to Users within the system and the internal messaging feature has the ability to add historical comments to a dam profile or group of dams, with a date/timestamp.
Inundation Map Review Process
Owners of dams, other than low hazard dams, are subject to the new statutes and regulations requiring inundation maps for dams and their critical appurtenant structures. The Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD) reviews and approves inundation maps, and Cal OES reviews and approves Emergency Action Plans that are based on the approved inundation maps. Owners must update inundation maps at a minimum of every 10 years, anytime there is a change to the dam, and anytime there is a change in downstream development.