The San Diego County Water Authority has a new web-based camera system at San Vicente Dam that allows the public to watch progress on the world’s largest roller-compacted concrete dam raise. Two cameras offer broad views of construction activities, enabling viewers on the website to see the dam rise up from its foundation, as concrete is placed layer upon layer to bring the new dam to its full height of 337 feet.
Weeks of dam raise work are compressed into brief time-lapse videos. The camera system also posts two new high-resolution photographs every 30 minutes. The updated photographs and time-lapse images are posted on the San Vicente Dam Raise web page at www.sdcwa.org/san-vicente-dam-raise.
“The value of this camera technology is that it helps the Water Authority document the historic record of this major construction project, while at the same time allowing members of the public to view its progress online,” said Water Authority Board Chair Michael T. Hogan. “This dam raise will help protect the region’s economy, job base and quality of life by increasing the amount of water available for use within the county.”
The Water Authority is raising San Vicente Dam by 117 feet, more than doubling the storage capacity of San Vicente Reservoir. This additional storage surpasses the capacity of any existing reservoir in San Diego County.
When complete, the expanded reservoir will have the capacity to hold 52,000 acre-feet of water for potential emergency use (an acre-foot is approximately 326,000 gallons of water – enough to cover a football field one foot deep) and an additional 100,000 acre-feet of water during wet years, for use in subsequent dry years.
The San Vicente Dam, which is owned and operated by the city of San Diego, is currently closed to all recreation. Once the dam raise is complete and the reservoir is refilled, it will reopen to recreation sometime between 2014 and 2017, depending on rainfall and supply and demand for water.