A bill signed Wednesday by California Gov. Gavin Newsom allocated $17 million to fund dam safety projects at Lake Nacimiento and Lake San Antonio after an assessment by state water resources agency found safety problems.
The state money will be used to rehabilitate the Lake Nacimiento “plunge pool” over the next four years, according to a news release from the Monterey County Water Resources Agency, which owns and operates the north SLO County lake.
The $17 million will also be used for the design and permitting of a replacement spillway at the Lake San Antonio in Monterey County, the release said.
The dam at Lake Nacimiento was built in 1957 using local funds and has been maintained without state support, up until now, the release said.
The release did not specify how the $17 million will be divided between the two dams.
“The governor’s welcomed action was helped made possible through the leadership of our local elected officials Sen. Laird, Speaker Rivas, Sen. Caballero, Assemblymember Addis and Monterey County Supervisors Alejo and Lopez, as well as the support and action of many stakeholders,” Monterey County Water Resources general manager Ara Azhderian said in the release. “The commitment of these individuals to collaborate towards improving the future for the people of Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties is unquestionable and a key component of the success in securing this critical funding.”
The failure of the Oroville Dam spillway in Butte County after an atmospheric river storm in 2017 led the California Department of Water Resources to commission a statewide reassessment of dams and identified deficits at Lake Nacimiento and the Lake San Antonio, the release said.