Promoting Public Safety for the Sacramento Region
Folsom Dam and Reservoir are a component of the Central Valley Project, owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, Mid-Pacific Region, Central California Area Office
Construction of Folsom Dam by the Corps began in October 1948 and was completed in May 1956. Folsom Dam was then transferred to Reclamation for operation.
Folsom Dam is a concrete gravity dam 340 feet high and 1,400 feet long flanked by left and right earthfill wing dams. "The Folsom Facility" also includes Mormon Island Auxiliary Dam and eight earthfill dikes. The storage capacity for the reservoir is 977,000 acre-feet at an elevation of 466 feet.
Water was first stored in February 1955. The Folsom Facility provides for water for municipal and industrial use and agriculture; generates 10 percent of local hydropower needs; maintains flows and water temperatures to support fish and wildlife; provides flows for Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta water quality; and offers recreation for 2 million visitors annually. _____________________________
Since 1955, Reclamation and the Corps have been working together to ensure the safe maintenance and operation of Folsom Dam. This collaboration has provided more than 50 years of protection for people and businesses downstream as well as power and a reliable water supply.
What is Dam Safety and Flood Control?
The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) have obligations and interests in relation to the Folsom Facility, but they differ with respect to Congressional objectives, mandates, authorities, funding, and timelines. Joint agency objectives met by facility modifications include:
Under the Safety of Dams Program, Reclamation identified the need for expedited action to reduce hydrologic (flood), seismic (earthquake), and static (seepage) risks. These events have low probability of occurrence in a given year; however, due to large population downstream and adjacent to Folsom Dam, modifying the facility is prudent and required to improve public safety.
Flood Damage Reduction
The Corps, in partnership with the Central Valley Flood Protection Board (formerly the State Reclamation Board), and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA), identified the need to reduce the risk of flooding in the Sacramento area, one of the most at-risk communities in the Nation.
The auxiliary spillway, or Joint Federal Project (JFP), represents an unprecedented partnership among Reclamation, the Corps, the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, and SAFCA.
The JFP was developed to coordinate efforts of both Reclamation and the Corps at the Folsom Facility. Through their cooperation, Reclamation and the Corps seek to integrate related dam safety and flood-risk reduction improvements. Additionally, both agencies are planning other improvements separate from the JFP.