Camanche Dam

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Camanche Dam
Camanche Reservoir From A320.jpg
Camanche Dam and Lake, looking north
Country United States
Location San Joaquin County, California
Status In use
Opening date 1963
Owner(s) East Bay Municipal Utility District
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Earthfill
Impounds Mokelumne River
Height 171 ft (52 m)
Length 2,400 ft (730 m)
Creates Camanche Reservoir
Total capacity 431,000 acre·ft (0.532 km3)
Catchment area 619 sq mi (1,600 km2)
Surface area 7,770 acres (3,140 ha)
Power station
Installed capacity 10.7 MW
Annual generation 17,622,000 KWh

Camanche Dam is an earthfill dam on the Mokelumne River in central California, about 20 mi (32 km) east of Lodi. The dam and reservoir lie in the Sierra Nevada foothills mostly in San Joaquin County. It also has a power station capable of generating 10.7 megawatts.[1] Camanche is owned and operated by the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD).

The dam impounds Camanche Reservoir, which has a capacity of 431,000 acre feet (0.532 km3). The flood control reservation, which can be shared with Pardee Dam just upstream, is 200,000 acre feet (0.25 km3).[2] Since its completion in 1963, the dam has been instrumental in preventing catastrophic flooding on the Mokelumne River. The Christmas flood of 1964 would likely have caused millions of dollars in damage had the dam not been in place, but instead damages were limited to just a few thousand.[3]

The lake has over 7,700 acres (3,100 ha) of water and 56 miles (90 km) of shoreline at full pool. EBMUD has leased the reservoir to the Camanche Regional Park District, which has extensively developed it for recreation.[4]

Prior to the construction of Camanche Dam, acid mine drainage from a closed copper mine, the Penn Mine northwest of Valley Springs, heavily polluted the Mokelumne River. EBMUD and the state's Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board attempted to solve the flow of acid mine drainage into the reservoir and river, but their efforts led higher concentrations of acid mine drainage and continued fish kills in the Mokelumne. After a series of lawsuits, EBMUD and the state funded a $10 million remediation of the site. It was completed in 1999. [5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nuzum, Robert. "Resolving Stakeholder Interests on the Lower Mokelumne River". Watershed Management Council. Retrieved 2011-10-11. 
  2. ^ "Central Valley Flood Management Systems". U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Post-Flood Assessment for 1983, 1986, 1995, and 1997. Auburn Dam Council. Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  3. ^ "Flood Management". San Joaquin County Resource Conservation District. Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  4. ^ "Motherlode Lakes". Field & Stream. pp. 88–89. 
  5. ^ "Penn Mine Near Clean". Estuary Newsletter. 1999. Retrieved 2013-06-18.