While in California observed potentially record dry February, Federal regulators ordered to drain a large reservoir South of San Jose because of fears that the earthquake may occur the collapse of the dam that will lead to the inflow of water to Silicon valley. This writes Fox News.
The Federal energy regulatory Commission ordered to completely empty the reservoir Anderson on 1 October because of fears that the dam, with a height of 240 feet (73 m) is too large a risk of collapse in case of strong earthquakes.
“It is unacceptable to maintain a reservoir on the hill above the necessary when it can be reduced, thereby reducing the risk to public safety and a large population downstream,” said the Director of the Department of safety and inspections FERC dams.
Anderson reservoir was constructed in 1950 between San Jose and Morgan hill, and can accommodate 90,000 acre-feet of water. The reservoir is the largest in the County of Santa Clara.
Since 2009, the water level in the dam is maintained at not more than 74% for the fact that it can collapse in an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 or stronger. A reservoir built along the Calaveras fault. Amid the threat of a new drought in California, Anderson reservoir was filled for only 29%.
The project on seismic retrofitting, because in 2017, the reservoir was classified as having “extremely high” level of risk.
“Studies have shown that a strong earthquake might damage the dam Anderson, which will lead to uncontrolled discharge of water that might flood the cities and rural areas from the San Francisco Bay Area to Monterey Bay Area , including most of Silicon valley”, — reads the statement of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, the Agency that is responsible for the reservoir.
In 2019, the Valley Water company has released a video which shows the worst-case scenario, if the Anderson dam, filled to overflowing, collapse in case of strong earthquakes.
In the Valley Water stated that it agreed with the Federal Commission that the reservoir must be emptied before the “complex and time-consuming” project of modernization.
“Valley Water has worked with several state and Federal agencies over many years to obtain proper authorization, as the scale of the project increased due to additional security requirements and design”, — said General Director of Valley Water Norma Camacho.
“The priority will be the design and construction of large exhaust pipe, which will provide greater control over water levels and will increase public safety,” she added.
Camacho said that the draining largest reservoir in the County is likely to lead to the death of wildlife downstream, including trout, are endangered.
In addition to the impact on the environment, dry winter could lead to a new drought in California.
The supply of water is an important part of logistics of the San Francisco Bay Area with plenty of water for the annual needs of at least 130 000 people, and in order that the district believes the source of the emergency.
“Despite the fact that the residents since 2013 excellent job saving water, the next drought during this period of time may require from all significant reductions in water use,” said Camacho.
The Agency is exploring other sources of water outside the County of Santa Clara, for example, of the largest nature reserves in Kern County, said Executive Director Valley Water District Nina hawk.
“There’s more water than we would use in one year — said the hawk. This water is available for us, so that our residents could enjoy.”
After the last drought, consumers significantly reduced water consumption, officials believe that they have more than enough water for normal use, while a massive upgrade of the dam continues.
“It is anticipated that the construction could take two to possibly five years, but this is determined by the permitting process, environmental norms and need to make sure that we do it in a safe way and we do it in accordance with laws and regulations,” said hawk.
As part of the process of the reconstruction of the dam Anderson will be partially destroyed, and its infrastructure will be replaced with more durable materials, before it will be restored.