The last year California built a dam? 1959


By Wayne Lusvardi | Cal Watchdog

Has California built any dams in the past 55 years as its population has more than doubled – and as a drought rages? Yes – but not by the state.

Peter Gleick of the Pacific Water Institute recently stirred the waters about whether California has added any new water storage dams since 1959. The title of his article in the San Francisco Chronicle, “The Number of New Dams Built in California in the Past 50 (or 40, or 30, or 20) Years is Not Zero.”

Gleick is correct that five new dams were built in California since 1959 with a total capacity of 8.6 million acre-feet of water. However, we need to distinguish.

No water has been added to the State Water Project or federal Central Valley Project for farms and cities. The State of California has built no new dams since 1959.

However, the federal government and three local water districts have built the five dams Gleick mentioned.

at Cal Watchdog.