Feds still exploring Stampede Reservoir dam height increase | SierraSun.com

Feds still exploring Stampede Reservoir dam height increase

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Sun file photoA look at the Stampede Reservoir dam.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; The federal Bureau of Reclamation is still studying potential safety measures that could raise Stampede Reservoirand#8217;s dam by 11 feet.

The 239-foot tall dam at the reservoir north of Truckee was erected in 1970 and is generally used to regulate water flow for fisheries along the Truckee River and in Pyramid Lake, after running through the Boca Reservoir.

Joan Goodwin, project manager for the Stampede Dam Corrective Actions Study, said the bureau is considering raising the dam for extreme flood events.

and#8220;There is significant population at risk downstream,and#8221; Goodwin said, referring to the Reno/Sparks area, adding that by raising the dam, it could prevent over flow during a 250,000-year flood event.

The dam would be raised by building two walls with compacted earth between, she said, and its spillway would also be modified to ensure water flowing out of Stampede doesnand#8217;t over tax Boca Reservoir, Goodwin said.

and#8220;Even though we are raising the dam we cannot store additional water and#8212; weand#8217;re just trying to prevent a flood event,and#8221; Goodwin said.

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The funding for such a project is not assured yet, and the earliest it could get under way would be 2012 or 2013, Goodwin said.

During that construction, residents would only be affected by the closure of the road across the top of the dam, but other access to Stampede is available, she said.

To learn more, contact Jane Schmidt at the Bureau of Reclamation at jcschmidt@usbr.gov or call (775)884-8372.