Built in 1971, the Mojave River Dam was designed and constructed consistent with the standards of the day. It continues to operate as it was designed and reduces risk for more than 16,000 people and $1.5 billion in property.
In fiscal year 2018, a periodic assessment was performed to review the condition of the dam, its expected performance and potential downstream consequences. The preliminary hydrology study done to support the assessment shows the dam could fail should water flow over the top of it.
The agency is evaluating interim risk-reduction measures associated with a potential overtopping of the dam and anticipates some of those measures will be in place prior to this year’s winter rains.
The LA District owns and operates 17 dams across California, Arizona and Nevada that reduce the risk of flooding for about 7 million people and $200 billion in property. The dams are reviewed periodically and rated according to the age and condition of the dam and potential consequences.
The District’s dams range from low to very high urgency of action. Routine operation, maintenance and inspection activities are performed to ensure the dams perform as designed.
Flood-risk management is a shared responsibility among federal, state and local agencies and the general public. The Corps is actively coordinating with its partners and conducting public outreach as interim risk-management strategies.