Seven dam studies slated for Kaua‘i

FORT SHAFTER — The detailed studies on selected dams throughout Hawai‘i has begun as a result of special funding obtained by U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The 11 dams studied by the Corps — seven of which are on Kaua‘i — were selected from a prioritized list identified by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Dam Safety Office as being of concern primarily due to downstream urban development.

“These studies involve evaluating various hydrologic and dam failure scenarios, and hydraulic analysis that will result in maps of the downstream areas that will be adversely affected,” Derek Chow, Corps senior project manager, said in a release.

The results will be used by the State Dam Safety Office and dam owners in the preparation of required emergency action plans.

“These studies will provide key recommendations to help the state and counties better understand and mitigate against the potential hazards caused by any dam failure,” Inouye said in a release.

The studies stem from the March 14 Ka Loko dam breach in Kilauea.

After touring the damage, Inouye requested emergency relief funds for Hawai‘i in the FY06 Emergency Supplemental Appropriation Bill, eventually ensuring $2 million for the dam break studies.

A team of Corps staff will conduct the studies along side local consultants Oceanit Laboratories, SSFM International, PB Americas and Tetra Tech.

On Kaua‘i, the Twin, Waita, Elua, Aepo, Pu‘u Lua, Halamanu Field 21 and Upper Kapahi reservoirs will be studied, as well as Nu‘uanu Dam No. 4 and Wahiawa Dam on O‘ahu, Kualapu‘u Reservoir on Moloka‘i and Reservoir 24 on Maui.

“The results will greatly assist us in our efforts to ensure public safety as well as provide additional technical assistance to the dam owners,” said Edwin Matsuda of the State DLNR Dam Safety Program.

The final reports are scheduled to be available at the end of 2007, the Corps says.


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