Dam Emergency Action Planning

Hazard Mitigation
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​For Dam Stakeholders:

Message from the Division of Dam Safety, Department of Water Resources

Senate Bill 92 added Sections 6160 and 6161 to the Water Code that became effective on June 27, 2017, requiring owners of State regulated dams, except those classified as low hazard, to prepare emergency action plans (EAPs) containing inundation map(s) for emergency preparedness. On October 19, 2017, emergency regulations were adopted to provide standards for preparing and submitting maps to the Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD) for their review and approval. These regulations are available at http://www.water.ca.gov/damsafety/statutes_regulations/index.cfm.

Dam owners must submit EAPs to the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) for approval by deadlines that are based on the dam’s downstream hazard classification. Dam owners received letters in July identifying their dam’s hazard classification and the statutory deadlines for EAPs as shown below:

· Extremely high hazard dams: January 1, 2018
· High hazard dams: January 1, 2019
· Significant hazard dams: January 1, 2021

It is important to note that inundation maps must first be submitted to DSOD for review and approval, and only approved inundation maps should be contained within EAPs that are submitted to Cal OES for their approval.

Upon approval of the EAP by Cal OES, dam owners are responsible for ensuring that the approved EAP is disseminated to appropriate public safety and emergency management agencies, which includes DSOD. Thank you for your cooperation.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact DSOD Design Engineer Kristen Martin at (916) 227-2170 or MapRegs@water.ca.gov.



Can the EAP and inundation map be submitted at the same time?Can the EAP and inundation map be submitted at the same time?<p>The following shall be submitted to DWR/DSOD:</p><ul><li><font color="#292929">An Inundation Map</font></li></ul><p>Upon approval of the inundation map by DWR/DSOD, please submit the EAP, with the approved map, to both DWR/DSOD and Cal OES. Please submit the Cal OES copy to our office, addressed to:<br>Jose Lara, Chief<br>Dam Emergency Action Planning Division<br>3650 Schriever Avenue<br>Mather, CA 95655</p>
How often am I required to update my EAP?How often am I required to update my EAP?<p>​Dam Owners shall update their EAP no less frequently than ten (10) years, or sooner under specific conditions. Additionally, at least once annually, an owner of a dam shall conduct an emergency action plan notification exercise with local public safety agencies.</p>
I currently have an EAP. Can that be re-submitted for approval under the new requirements?I currently have an EAP. Can that be re-submitted for approval under the new requirements?<p>​If a dam owner has an existing EAP as of March 1, 2017, DSOD will review the inundation map contained in the EAP. If the map is determined to be sufficient, DSOD can request Cal OES review the existing EAP.</p>
What are the requirements if my dam is regulated by FERC or BOR? Is this only required for State regulated or owned dams? What are the requirements if my dam is regulated by FERC or BOR? Is this only required for State regulated or owned dams? <p>​The inundation map and EAP requirements apply to dams that are regulated by the State of California. This includes dams that are regulated jointly by the state and federal government. However, dam owners with dams that are regulated by the federal government are encouraged to provide a copy of their EAP to the state.</p>
Where can I find more information regarding EAPs?Where can I find more information regarding EAPs?<p>​More information regarding EAPs and the legal responsibilities of dam owners is available at the following websites:</p><ul><li><font color="#292929"><a href="http://www.water.ca.gov/damsafety" target="_blank">www.water.ca.gov/damsafety</a></font></li><li><a href="/" target="_blank">www.caloes.ca.gov</a></li></ul><p>Additionally, the full text of the new law (SB 92, Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, Statutes of 2017) can be found here:</p><ul><li> <a href="http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/" target="_blank">http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/</a></li></ul>
Where should EAPs be submitted?Where should EAPs be submitted?<p>​The Department of Water Resources, Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD) will be responsible for reviewing and approving the inundation maps, and the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) will review and approve EAPs pursuant to Government Code Sections 8589.5 and Water Code 6161(b). Dam owners will be responsible for submitting the EAP to both Cal OES and DSOD.</p>
Why do I need an Emergency Action Plan (EAP)?Why do I need an Emergency Action Plan (EAP)?<p>​Dams are important for managing the state’s water resources to ensure that California communities have adequate water supplies, agriculture flourishes, flood risk management, water storage, hydropower, fish and wildlife conservation and recreation. An EAP and a Dam Inundation Map help protect against loss of life and property by:</p><ul><li><font color="#292929">Outlining actions to be undertaken during a dam-related emergency;</font></li><li>Providing assistance and guidance to local jurisdictions on emergency planning for failure of a dam or its critical appurtenant structures; and</li><li>Facilitating coordination between dam owners, communities, state and federal agencies to ensure effective dam incident emergency response procedures and planning.</li></ul>
Will there be new EAP templates and guidance?Will there be new EAP templates and guidance?<p>​EAPs shall be prepared in accordance with the Federal Guidelines for Emergency Action Planning. As needed, Cal OES will develop additional tools and information to aid in the EAP process. That information will be available in the near future. </p>

2016 Oroville Dam Inundation Map

Most dam owners are required to prepare inundation maps as part of the dam permitting process. These maps are prepared by civil engineers on behalf of dam owners, as required under California law. State law requires dam owners to submit inundation maps for approval by Cal OES. Inundation maps are developed from the best available information using reasonable assumptions and standardized methods. The maps are an approximation of the maximum water flow resulting from a complete dam failure. The maps portray a catastrophic failure of the dam, as opposed to the failure a critical appurtenant structure, such as a spillway. This map represents a worst-case scenario contemplating a complete failure of the Oroville Dam. Depending upon actual circumstances, appropriate alert and evacuation areas could be more or less extensive than the simulated zones shown on the maps.

Inundation Map for Oroville Dam 2016.pdf 


​Whether Drought or Storms, Folsom Dam is a Multi-Purpose Facility


Contact Information

​​Dam Data Requests

To request dam inundation data, please submit a Public Records Act request. Please contact Jennifer Plescia, Attorney, at (916) 845-8815​, or Alex Pal, Attorney, at (916) 845-8973, or send an email to: PRA@caloes.ca.gov.



For other information on dam emergency action planning, please contact the Dam Emergency Action Planning Division at eap@caloes.ca.gov.


For information on dam inundation mapping, please refer to the DSOD website.



Sample EAPhttp://www.caloes.ca.gov/HazardMitigationSite/Documents/Sample EAP.docxSample EAPSample EAPDam Emergency Action Planning11/9/2017 11:29:53 PM
Inundation Map for Oroville Dam 2016http://www.caloes.ca.gov/HazardMitigationSite/Documents/Inundation Map for Oroville Dam 2016.pdfInundation Map for Oroville Dam 2016Dam Safety11/28/2017 4:55:48 PM


The Cal OES Dam Inundation Mapping & Emergency Procedure (DIMEP) Program was established by Government Code §8589.5 in 1972 following a near failure of the Lower San Fernando Dam during the Sylmar Earthquake. The program provided assistance and guidance to local jurisdictions on emergency planning for dam failure events by:
· Collecting and reviewing dam failure inundation maps
· Evaluating waivers from the inundation mapping requirements

The DIMEP Program coordinated with the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD) and other state and federal agencies in activities to assure effective dam incident emergency response procedures and planning.

The DIMEP Program was also the designated repository of the official dam failure inundation maps used in California’s Natural Hazard Disclosure statement.

SB 92 superceded this previous legislation and removed our authority to review and approve dam inundation maps, giving that responsibility to DSOD.



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