Water Authority project selected as 2005 ASCE international award finalist

Short Title
Water Authority project selected as 2005 ASCE international award finalist
Olivenhain Dam and Reservoir one of five merit award recipients worldwide
February 11, 2005

The San Diego County Water Authority’s Olivenhain Dam and Reservoir project has been selected one of five merit finalists in the worldwide 2005 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement competition by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Established in 1960, the OCEA award honors the projects that best illustrate superior civil engineering skills and represent a significant contribution to civil engineering progress and society.

“We are thrilled to be selected as a finalist in this prestigious ASCE international awards program,” said Jerry Reed, principal engineer and Olivenhain Dam project manager. “The Olivenhain Dam is a critical component of the Water Authority’s emergency storage program to provide water to our region during times of water supply interruption.”

"There were a number of very strong projects submitted... and the jury found the discussion of these projects most absorbing" said Anne Powell, OCEA jury chairwoman in her notification letter to the Water Authority. “The Olivenhain Dam and Reservoir project is indeed an outstanding effort, and all who worked on this project have every reason to be proud of this endeavor.”

The other 2005 OCEA merit award winners and finalists include: the Time Warner Center in New York City; the AirTrain JFK Light Rails System in Jamaica, New York; the Mubarak Pumping Station in Toshka, Egypt and the Rion-Antirion Bridge in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece.

The jury has determined the winner of its 2005 OCEA top award, which will be announced April 13, 2005 at the ASCE's Outstanding Projects and Leaders awards gala in Vienna, Virginia. ASCE has recognized the Olivenhain Dam project at both the local and state level as its outstanding engineering project of the year.

The dam and reservoir form the cornerstone of the Water Authority's Emergency Storage Project. The ESP will eventually provide over 90,000 acre-feet of water storage for use if an earthquake severs any one of the region's five pipelines that move imported water from Riverside County to San Diego County.

The dam was designed and constructed to withstand a major earthquake and remain completely functional. It is the largest roller-compacted concrete dam in the United States and the first RCC dam in California. The reservoir holds 24,000 acre-feet of water, with 18,000 acre feet stored for emergency purposes. The Olivenhain Municipal Water District will use the remaining water for daily use by its customers.

The dam is nearly 320 feet tall and 2,570 feet long. RCC was placed at world record rates, as much as 16,000 cubic yards per day, in round-the-clock construction. More than 1.4 million cubic yards of RCC are in the dam.

Olivenhain Dam and Reservoir Facts:
    •    Height: 318 feet
    •    Length: 2,552 feet
    •    1.4 million cubic yards of roller-compacted concrete
    •    Cost: $200 million
    •    Storage capacity: 24,000 acre-feet
    •    Surface area: 200 acres

The San Diego County Water Authority is a public agency serving the San Diego region as a wholesale supplier of water from the Colorado River and Northern California. The Water Authority works through its 23 member agencies to provide a safe, reliable water supply to support the region’s $142 billion economy and the quality of life of 3 million residents.