Dubious dam award

DWR gets booby prize for Oroville Dam debacle

The Department of Water Resources was named a winner of the California Golden Fleece Award Tuesday (Oct. 17) for its “reckless mismanagement of Oroville Dam,” according to a press release from The Independent Institute, an Oakland-based think tank.

In the release, the institute claims that DWR “failed to act on specific warnings about spillway integrity, provided insufficient inspection and repair processes, and made poor design and construction choices.” It also claims the DWR hid safety concerns from the public during February’s spillway crisis.

The organization began giving out the booby prizes quarterly last year. According to its website, each award aims to highlight an agency or program “that fleeces California taxpayers, consumers or businesses.” Past recipients include the state departments of transportation (Caltrans) and forestry and fire protection (Cal Fire).