Olivenhain Dam and Reservoir, a joint project of the San Diego County Water Authority and the Olivenhain Municipal Water District, recently received two major engineering awards.
The American Society of Civil Engineers honored the project as one of four international merit award recipients in the 2005 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement awards program. The project also received an award for design in the American Academy of Environmental Engineers’ 2005 Excellence in Environmental Engineering awards program.
The ASCE awards honor projects that best illustrate superior civil engineering skills and represent a significant contribution to civil engineering progress and society. The AAEE awards recognize the best in environmental engineering practices, improving the quality of life and economic efficiency.
The dam and reservoir form the cornerstone of the Water Authority’s emergency storage project, which eventually will provide more than 90,000 acre-feet of water storage for use if an earthquake severs any one of the region’s five pipelines that move imported water from Riverside County to San Diego County.
The largest roller-compacted concrete dam in the United States and the first in California, it was designed to withstand a major earthquake. The reservoir holds 24,000 acre-feet of water, with 18,000 acre-feet stored for emergencies. The Olivenhain Municipal Water District will use the remaining water for daily use by its customers.
The Water Authority is a public agency serving the San Diego region as a wholesale supplier of water from the Colorado River and Northern California.