Editors & Reporters Note:
For more information and a virtual tour of the dam project please click here: Olivenhain Dam Virtual Tour.
The San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Public Works Association has selected the San Diego County Water Authority's Olivenhain Dam and Reservoir project as its "2003 Project of the Year." The award was presented at the Sept. 9 APWA luncheon in the environmental category for projects over $10 million.
The APWA chapter selected the Olivenhain Dam project based on judging criteria that included effective planning, design and construction management; enhancement to public service; community relations; environmental mitigation; and unusual accomplishments. The APWA award presentation recognized the project's critical role in providing for the region's water supply needs during a natural disaster such as an earthquake.
"We are pleased that the Olivenhain Dam project has been recognized by APWA for its strong, multi-disciplinary project team that kept the project on track and on budget," said Ken Steele, Water Authority engineering manager. "The Olivenhain Dam and Reservoir will provide our region with a vital water supply during times of emergency."
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. 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.
The Water Authority conducted an extensive public outreach program that successfully managed the concerns of local homeowners and the surrounding community.
The project's environmental mitigation efforts resulted in the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve offering 17 miles of hiking, mountain biking, equestrian trails and viewing points.
The APWA established its awards program to recognize outstanding individuals, groups and chapters representing the best in the public works profession. Award nominations are accepted from public agencies, corporations, APWA's general membership as well as the public.
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 $130 billion economy and the quality of life of 3 million residents.
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