Tag Archives: Civil Engineering

January Deadline for New Dam Safety Regulations

Owners of California dams classified as “extremely high hazard” need to submit updated Emergency Action Plans (EAP) to the state by January 1, 2018 under new dam safety regulations the state legislature passed earlier this year in response to the Oroville Dam spillway crisis. The looming EAP deadline is complicated by the new law’s requirement

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Advanced Modeling Identifies Storm Drain Solutions

Cities in the Coachella Valley have a history of dealing with damaging summer flash floods. Intense thunderstorms can dump several inches of rain in a short time while runoff rushes from the nearby San Jacinto Mountains into the lowland flats where the cities are built. The City of La Quinta suffered back-to-back damaging summer storms

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Do You Know the Difference Between Hydrology and Hydraulics?

Water is Earth’s most critical fluid in environmental processes and human life. When discussing stormwater management it is important to make the distinction between hydrology and hydraulics. Some aspects of hydrology involve hydraulics but, in general, the two are very different. Here’s how to understand these differences. Hydrology is defined as the circulation of water

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Will Your Flood Control System Actually Work in a Major Storm?

Many California counties use the 100-year storm as the design storm for regional flood control facilities and stormwater-related capital improvements. However new data show that the 100-year storm will be more intense than previously thought. Prior to 2013, storm intensities and volumes corresponding to certain size storm events (2-year, 5-year, 10-year, 25-year, 50-year, 100-year) were

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Understanding the 100-Year Storm and Whether Your Stormwater Infrastructure is at Risk

Perhaps inspiring Murphy’s later pronouncement, mathematician Augustus De Morgan said, “Whatever can happen, will happen if we make trials enough.” At some point, your flood infrastructure will be tested by a storm event equal to or larger than the event it was designed to withstand. The chance in any given year that a storm occurs

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Repurposing Flood Control Infrastructure to Leverage Stormwater Resources

Combining the drought and evidence of a “Godzilla” El Niño event likely this winter, stormwater is increasingly valued as an asset worth integrating into California’s overall water management strategy. Re-thinking how to leverage stormwater resources opens up opportunities for repurposing infrastructure designed and built to dispose of flood waters. More than one in five Californians—7

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Analyzing Surface Water Issues during Solar Site Evaluations

Analyzing surface water issues when evaluating a solar site for development can play a pivotal role in successfully entitling, permitting, and operating a project. The following outlines three key considerations. Surface Water Analysis Requires Thorough Hydrology and Hydraulics Due Diligence Hydrology and hydraulics surface water analysis should go beyond a simple Federal Emergency Management Agency

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‘What-if’ Water Conveyance Modeling

A new water source in Southern California is the Holy Grail of water sustainability. Once found and developed, the challenge becomes effectively integrating the supply into an established water conveyance system. Often, the new source (e.g., desalinated groundwater or seawater, new wells, or imported water) is added at the smaller capacity fringe of the existing

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