On June 27, 2017, Governor Brown signed SB 92 into law, which set forth new requirements focused on dam safety. As part of this legislation, dam owners must now submit inundation maps to DWR. After the maps are approved, the dam owner must submit an emergency action plan to Cal OES. The owner must submit updated plans and inundation maps every 10 years, or sooner under certain conditions. Cal OES will review and approve the emergency action plans. This legislation set forth additional provisions for emergency action plans including compliance requirements, exercises of the plan, and coordination with local public safety agencies.
Electronic submission: email@example.com Hard copy submission: Dam Safety Planning DivisionCalifornia Governor’s Office of Emergency Services3650 Schriever Avenue, Mather, CA 95655
Cal OES has developed four products to assist dam owners in developing EAPs.The first product is the Blank Formatting Template that dam owners may use to help build their EAPs in a structure that includes required components.
The second product is the Cal OES EAP Review Tool that Cal OES uses to ensure that each EAP has the required elements. This product is based on the legislative requirements in California Water Code Sections 6160 and 6161 and Government Code Section 8589.5, which includes FEMA’s Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety: Emergency Action Planning for Dams. All of the elements listed in the Review Tool must be met prior to EAP approval.The first is the Blank Formatting Template that dam owners may use to help build their EAPs in a structure that includes required components.
The third product is the Cal OES EAP Checklist Template created to assist dam owners on essential elements to include in their EAP. This document was crafted by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Dam Safety Planning Division based upon the legislative mandate and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety: Emergency Action Planning for Dams (FEMA 64 July 2013).
The fourth product is an Emergency Action Plan for Santa Luisa Dam. This is a fictional dam and the EAP contains language and procedures specific to this fictional dam and the surrounding jurisdictions.
EAP Blank Formatting Template 03.05.2021.docx
Cal OES EAP Review Tool_Updated July 2020.pdf
Cal OES EAP Checklist Template 11.20.20 (Currenly working on ADA Compliant Version)
Santa Luisa Dam EAP 03.15.2021.pdf
Use FEMA's Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety: Emergency Action Planning for Dams to assist and guide you in developing your EAPs. Cal OES is ready and willing to assist you through the EAP development process.
Below you will also find additional resources which include dam safety contact information, an Owner Education Workshop, and more.
For other information and questions on dam emergency action planning, please contact the Dam Safety Planning Division at
More Division Contact Information:
For information on dam inundation mapping, please refer to the
Unfortunately, the legislature did not allocate any funds to help dam owners pay for inundation maps. Cal OES is administering several grants that may be applicable; for more information please contact Steven Larson with Cal OES at
Message from the Division of Dam Safety, Department of Water Resources (June 2018)
The Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD) has been developing regulations for inundation maps. Emergency regulations are currently in effect, and we are concurrently working on permanent regulations. We listened to your feedback over the last several months and made changes to improve the proposed permanent regulations. Attached is the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that formally initiates the 45-day comment period for the proposed permanent regulations. It contains important details about how to access the documents and submit comments. The Notice is also posted on our website and the OAL Notice Register. Since many dam owners are currently in the process of preparing maps, DSOD is taking the following steps: 1) Proposed permanent regulations allow DSOD to approve maps that demonstrate substantial compliance – this means that maps prepared under the emergency regulations should be acceptable. 2) Proposed permanent regulations are less prescriptive than the emergency regulations. 3) Emergency regulations will be readopted when they expire next month (7/18/18) with some revisions. If you have any questions about inundation map requirements or the rulemaking process, please contact Kristen Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 227-2170.
DSOD - Notice of Proposed Rulemaking_06.08.18.pdf
Message from the Division of Dam Safety, Department of Water Resources (November 2017)
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 here.
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 at MapRegs@water.ca.gov.
Dam Owner Workshop (January 8, 2019)Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Dam Owner Workshop on inundation maps and Emergency Action Plans. We apologize for the technical difficulties that interrupted the live broadcast. You can view the entire workshop at this link: https://youtu.be/CZPvQ6yf-W0 The inundation map regulations referenced in the workshop are available at govt.westlaw.com.
DSOD and Cal OES have Frequently Asked Questions posted on their websites: DSOD inundation map FAQsCal OES EAP FAQs (this page, see above)
If you have follow up questions, you may contact the following: Inundation maps – email@example.com EAPs – firstname.lastname@example.org
Cal OES and DSOD hosted an Owner Education Workshop on January 30, 2018 to discuss new requirements for inundation maps and EAPs. The Workshop recording is below:
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. 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. Depending upon actual circumstances, appropriate alert and evacuation areas could be more or less extensive.
Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety: Emergency Action Planning for Dams
Emergency Operations Planning: Dam Incident Planning Guide
Water Code §6160, 6161, 6162
Government Code §8589.5
For information on what dam-related activities may be covered under the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program, please refer to FEMA's Analyzing the Dam Failure Hazard in the Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Program Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA).
A Guide to Public Alerts and Warnings for Dam and Levee Emergencies was created for the US Army Corps of Engineers Risk Management Center. This guidebook is for people involved with providing emergency messages and information to the public during times of impending flooding from dams and levees.
On January 30, 2018, DWR and Cal OES hosted an Owner Education Workshop about Inundation Maps and EAPs. You can find the workshop recording at https://youtu.be/_VYTeFcNIIs.