Santa Felicia Dam Safety Improvement Project

a lake surrounded by mountainsa lake surrounded by mountains
Client: United Water Conservation District
Time Period: 2016-present
Staff: Megan Schwartz, Lindsey Garner, Ben Pogue, Emily Merickel, Dan Tormey, David (Chip) Blankenhorn​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​Service lines: Water, Energy
Catalyst led the EIR addressing proposed improvements to the Santa Felicia Dam, which contains Lake Piru Reservoir, in unincorporated Ventura County, California, and is now assisting United Water Conservation District through the Federal NEPA process with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The proposed project would improve the spillway design and outlet works in order to meet the probable maximum flow based on seismic hazard ratings and improve United Water Conservation District’s infrastructure resiliency to potential flood conditions. As part of the project design, the downstream channel would be removed and redesigned and constructed to provide flows to lower Piru Creek. Primary issues of concern are recreation, as construction activity would affect boating on Lake Piru and whitewater flows downstream of the dam; noise; and alterations to endangered California steelhead critical habitat. Catalyst conducted noise monitoring in the vicinity of the dam to establish ambient conditions and also led analysis of physical and social science resource areas. Catalyst is also working with the United Water Conservation District in coordinating with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to comply with their hydroelectric permit conditions and assisting with Section 7 consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Services, including preparation of a Biological Assessment, as lower Piru Creek is designated critical habitat for the southern California steelhead.

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