Right now, Folsom Lake's water levels are at historic lows because of a third consecutive dry winter. But federal officials say in the future, when we get way too much rain and snow, the reservoir won't be able to hold all the water. That's why the dam needs to be raised by 3.5 feet.
"It's for reducing the flood risk to the downstream communities in the Sacramento region."
~Tyler Stalker, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Stalker is with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Sacramento District, which is holding a public meeting on the project this week.
Specifically, the plan calls for raising all of the dykes, the Mormon Island Auxiliary Dam and the right and left wings of the main dam. It's a long term project and construction wouldn't start for another two years.
"We really just want to talk to the public," Stalker says. "We have some ideas on how we think we can implement this plan. We want to get their thoughts on those. One of them's a 3.5-foot flood wall, some of them are just raising the earth and dykes 3.5 feet."
In a separate project, Folsom Dam is getting new flood-control gates designed to release water quicker during a flood. The steel gates were built in Oregon and are scheduled to arrive later this month.
The meeting on the dam raise project will be held Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Folsom Community Center.
Some minor improvement in California drought conditions last week, but long-term drought remains entrenched as the summer dry season is slightly more than a month away.
Outdoor burn permits are now required for most counties in Northern California.
Spring storms help Sierra Nevada snowpack, but there is no reduction in drought conditions in California and Nevada.
More "Spare The Air" alerts may be issued this year in the Sacramento region because the Environmental Protection Agency has lowered the federal ozone health standard.
Weather permitting, the Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District and the U.S. Forest Service may continue prescribed fire operations starting Monday in areas around Lake Tahoe.