Auburn Dam

Auburn Dam was a proposed dam on the North Fork of the American River east of the town of Auburn, California in the United States, on the border of Placer and El Dorado Counties. Slated to be completed in the 1970s by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the concrete arch-gravity dam would have been over 700 feet (210 m) high, straddling a gorge downstream of the confluence of the North and Middle Forks of the American River and upstream of Folsom Lake. It would have regulated water flow and provided flood control in the American River basin as part of Reclamation's immense Central Valley Project.

Proposals and studies for the dam emerged in the late 1960s, and construction work commenced in 1968, involving the diversion of the North Fork American River through a tunnel and the construction of a massive earthen cofferdam. Following a nearby earthquake and the discovery of a seismic fault that underlay the dam site, work on the project was halted for fears that the dam's design would not allow it to survive a major quake on the same fault zone. Although the dam was redesigned and a new proposal submitted by 1980, spiraling costs and limited water storage offered by either design put an end to the project until heavy floods destroyed the cofferdam, sparking brief renewed interest in the dam. The California State Water Resources Control Board denied water rights for the dam project in 2008 due to lack of implementation.

Although new proposals surfaced from time to time after the 1980s, the dam was never built for a variety of reasons. Limited flood-control capability, geologic instability, and potential harm on recreational and ecological values finally put an end to the Auburn Dam project. Many of the original groundworks and preliminary constructions at the Auburn Dam site still exist, and up to 2007, the North Fork American River still flowed through the diversion tunnel that had been constructed in preparation for the dam. Reclamation and Placer County Water Agency completed a pump station project that year which blocked the tunnel, returned the river to its original channel, and diverted water through another tunnel under Auburn to meet local needs. However, some groups continue to support construction of the dam, which they claim would provide important water regulation and flood protection.

Read more about Auburn DamEarly History, Proposals For Resurrecting The Auburn Dam, Legacy

Other articles related to "auburn dam, dam, dams, auburn":

John Doolittle - Career Prior To The U.S. House - Auburn Dam Project
... Doolittle is known for support of the Auburn Dam project, despite environmental concerns and uncertainties about the impact that such a dam might have on seismic activity in ... Doolittle's stated reason for supporting the Auburn Dam is for flood control of Sacramento ... that historically often has droughts, and said that Folsom and Nimbus Dams suffice in an intense rainy season ...
Auburn State Recreation Area - History
... Auburn SRA comprises lands set aside for the proposed Auburn Dam ... was found to have been caused by the Oroville Dam at that location, which led to examination and discovery that the Auburn dam site is situated on a geologic fault ... This discovery halted the Auburn Dam project because of fears that constructing a dam and lake would cause a reservoir-induced earthquake which could lead to a dam's collapse, with catastrophic ...
Auburn Dam - Legacy
... inception, hundreds of millions of dollars have been poured into the Auburn Dam project, but no further work has been done since the 1980s ... However, the Bureau of Reclamation continues to list the Auburn as a considered alternative for the future of its Auburn-Folsom South Unit project ... As of now, massive evidence of the dam's construction still remain in the North Fork American River canyon, specifically the excavations for the abutments and spillway, with ...

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