Ever since the near failure of the Oroville dam and reservoir complex (in California) a couple of years ago, I have been keeping occasional tabs on the ongoing repair, remediation and construction work that is underway at the site. Until recently I blithely assumed that all was well, and things were being built back better than ever. But the last couple of months, as the water level in Lake Oroville has edged higher and higher, I have begun to have misgivings.
To begin with, I have noticed that the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and Kiewit, the large, well-known engineering and construction firm that is heading up the project, have removed most of the vegetation from the hillsides on both sides of the main spillway, and also from much of the slope below the emergency spillway area. They have also done extensive excavation, grading, removal of rock and soil, terracing, and even some blasting in those areas. It seems to me that much of that work runs the risk of destabilizing the hillside, so why have they done these things?
They have even done some drilling and blasting in the rock under the main spillway, not too far from the main spillway gates. I also have questions about that.
Now that the main spillway repair and reconstruction are complete, it is obvious that there are multiple unexplained cracks and leaks from one end to the other, from top to bottom. The DWR and fellow travelers say that all is well, not to worry, things are going as planned.
However, when the DWR opened the spillway gates in April 2019 (a month ago) to test the spillway and gates, they only released 25,000 cfs (cubic-feet per second) and shut the spillway down after only a few days. They have not reopened the main spillway since, though they have continued to extensively wrk on the emergency spillway area.
That peculiar behavior raises obvious questions as to whether something is wrong with the new and improved spillway, or with the gates, or both? If the spillway is in operating condition, why not use it? If the gates are in good working order, why not open them? Is the plan, perhaps, to avoid use of the main spillway and spillway gates, and to rely instead on the emergency spillway? If so, why?
As of this writing (the evening of 5 May 2019), the reservoir water level is at 886.5 feet. At 901 feet the emergency spillway will overtop, with a water level rise of just 14.5 more feet. Every couple of days, the reservoir water level has been edging up another foot. Clearly, if the main spillway remains closed, the day is coming soon when the emergency spillway may overtop again, as it did previously in February 2017, and a whole raft of major issues will ensue, including possible loss of the slope below the spillway(s) area, and potentially even of the dam itself, if the situation cannot be controlled.
And yet, the DWR and Kiewit dither and say little or nothing, even as heavy equipment and workers continue to crawl all over the site.
It is a curious and unusual spectacle that invites all sorts of speculation in the face of the question that begs to be asked: why not open the main spillway? And the corollary question: why even have a main spillway if it is not used when the reservoir water level is at 886.5 feet, close to overtopping and rising daily?
On casual inspection and reflection, things don’t add up. On closer inspection, the observer can be forgiven for thinking that the spillway gates are not being opened up for fear that they and/or the new, main spillway will catastrophically fail.
I am not going to write a detailed treatise on the Oroville reservoir, dam and spillways(s) complex. It’s unnecessary, and even if I did, 99.9% of you wouldn’t read it anyway!
Suffice it to say that it appears something may be wrong at Oroville. My informed, layman’s analysis is that the entire project was misconceived from the beginning; a major dam and reservoir complex should never have been built there. The geology of the area is simply not adequate to support a huge dam and reservoir. The local rock is fractured and crumbly, or, as the mining and geological engineers would say, the rock is not “competent”. It’s poor rock, and the rock and the associated dam and reservoir structures built on it cannot withstand the tremendous stresses and pressures brought to bear by several hundreds of feet of water and/or thunderous discharges of tens of thousands of cubic feet of water per second. That’s what led to the near failure of the complex in 2017, and it may yet lead to severe issues this year, perhaps even in the coming days and weeks later this month.
I like the information in the occasional Youtube videos of Susan Wolding. She’s not a dam engineer or a hydrologist or a hydraulic engineer, and is not affiliated with the DWR or Kiewit. She’s an interested observer who simply catalogues what she discovers in her dam inquiries and puts it out on the Internet for the interested public to do with as they like. The main points she raises are the many cracks, seeps and leaks, the problems with the gates and their linchpins, and the huge and growing crack in the structural concrete on the side of main spillway gate number 8. Is that one of the reasons why the main spillway is not being opened up? There is also some evidence of seepage and erosion at the site. Does it rise to the level of concern?
Other Oroville dam-related sites that I have found informative are:
Lake Oroville Water Level (overtops at 901 ft.)
Jack in Virginia running commentary
Oroville Is Just The First Of Many More To Come
A whole series of natural and unnatural disasters in the time-space pipeline is just waiting to unload on the USSA, and how! Some of what is to come may be karmic, maybe deeply so; or just the result of plain old stupidity and good old fashioned corruption and inefficiency that have worked together for decades to diddle and fiddle and piddle around while infrastructure such as dams, levees, bridges, seaports, airports, highways, aqueducts, pipelines, waterworks, sewers, power plants, power lines and more deteriorate and fail due to negligent maintenance, no maintenance, or outright failure to plan for timely demolition and replacement of obsolete or failing infrastructure.
The Oroville dam on the Feather River in California falls into this category of infrastructure failures that are just waiting to happen.
Or is it perhaps planned to fail, in a grandiose way? Is all this being very carefully, technologically and expensively scripted to take place? Sometimes I wonder, I really do.
Here’s one reason why: Kiewit, the company doing the Oroville dam spillway renovation, reconstruction and engineering, is a very well known Deep State player, a huge engineering and construction company that has worked on scores of major government projects, both overt and covert, including major underground construction projects such as the secret labyrinth of tunnels under Washington, DC. Over the years, I have run across multiple mentions of, and references to Kiewit in my underground bases and tunnels research.
Of course, Oroville derives its name from the fact that there are extensive deposits of gold in the hills, creeks and rivers of the region, oro being the Spanish word for gold. And what a coincidence! — Kiewit is a major player in the gold mining industry in the USSA. Please click and read:
Kiewit also does dam demolition work. Here’s a minor, Kiewit dam demolition project from last year: Bloede dam on the Patapsco River in Maryland. I personally know the river and the dam, which is now part of history. I have stood where the photographer stood who took the news photo in the following article.
Bloede Dam removal blasts off
On a much larger scale, Kiewit is now engaged in a massive, $400 million removal of four dams on the Klamath River in northern California and southern Oregon:
Contractors prep for dam removal
Kiewit wins contract for Klamath River dam removal
Do the Kiewit gold mining expertise and major dam demolition expertise coincide in the case of the massive Oroville dam spillway project now underway?
I don’t know, but it occurs to me to wonder.
Watching everything underway at Oroville, it is clear that the public are not being told the full truth of the situation. The structural stability of both the Oroville dam and spillway(s) going forward are legitimate question marks. The structural integrity of the underlying geology is also legitimately in question.
Has a major Deep State player, with extensive covert construction, gold mining and dam demolition experience, been brought in to expertly “fix” a politically, economically, geologically, hydrologically and environmentally delicate situation involving a major, highly problematic, failing dam that just so happens to sit astride rich, known, gold bearing geology in the crucial state of California?
Oh, yeah, lest I forget, the USSA paper dollar, AKA the Federal Reserve Note (FRN), is very rapidly losing value and global, market share. At the same time, the Russians and Chinese are very busily stockpiling gold by the thousands and even tens of thousands of tons in the run up to a probable, near future, global economic reset that will be based, at least in part, on securely holding extremely large quantities of tangible, physical gold.
Has the Deep State, therefore, made a decision to go after the gold in the California Sierra Nevada as a National Security priority, knowing that its phony-baloney paper “dollar” will soon revert to toilet paper status? If so, has Kiewit been brought in for a twofer? 1) To take down the Oroville dam (as discreetly and carefully as possible, of course) and 2) to then gold mine the living daylights out of the hills and rivers in the Feather River watershed to help the Deep State bolster its holdings of physical gold?
Is there a Deep State agenda at Oroville? Is gold perhaps the underlying priority, and all else just a confusing, noisy, carnival sideshow to divert the public’s attention from the real game?
I wonder, I really do.