On March 17, 2016, the Matilija Dam "Design Oversight Group" met to determine consensus around one of the three alternatives in the AECOM/Stillwater reports and how to move the project forward.
Following a long discussion, the issue was put to a vote. Printouts depicting the three project alternatives were hung on the wall, and each stakeholder was given a green "stickie dot" to indicate their preference. (A yellow dot was provided for a "backup" 2nd choice, if they chose to do so.)
The result was almost unanimously (95%) in favor of Dam Removal Concept 2:
0 votes (3 backup) - DRC-1 Containment berm with high flow bypass = $40M
18 votes (1 backup) - DRC-2 Uncontrolled orifices with optional gates = $18.5/$20.4M
1 vote (1 backup) - DRC-3 Temporary upstream storage = $50M
This outcome was not unexpected, given the discussion during the previous meeting last September.
Condit Dam in 2011.
Project Funding and Completion
The meeting agenda included discussion of the alternatives developed in the final reports and the potential funding pathways to complete the project.
This chart was presented as an outline of the processes required to complete the project. It is assumed that Alternative 2 would be pursued as a local project, depicted by the green path, as this dam removal concept is significantly different from that which was previously authorized through the Corps of Engineers.
|Process overview for project completion presented at March 17 Matilija Dam meeting|
|Matt Stoecker (DamNation), Hans Cole (Patagonia Inc) and Paul Jenkin (Matilija Coalition) at the White House Council on Environmental Quality offices in Washington DC, March 3, 2016|
The project selected is by far the most cost effective means to remove Matilija Dam, and is free from congressional roadblocks. However, despite less than $20M cost for dam removal, the total price tag will likely include tens of millions more in downstream projects previously determined necessary to accommodate restored sediment flows down the river.
The next step is to identify and secure funding to complete the necessary engineering and environmental permitting to get the project "shovel ready." This work will likely take another couple of years. In the mean time, Patagonia has been appointed to lead a funding subcommittee to help secure funding for project implementation.
matilijadam.org: the final Dam Removal Concepts and Water Supply Mitigation Options reports are posted to the website. They contain final changes to the reports, mostly in response to comments submitted by members of the Design Oversight Group.
On this blog: http://venturaecosystem.blogspot.com/search/label/Matilija%20Dam
On the web: Matilija-Coalition.org
In the News: