Each dam or reservoir has a problem from a list that includes seepage, vegetation growth, reduced spillway capacity, erosion and overly steep embankment slopes.

The island’s Kaloko dam collapsed last March, prompting Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to authorise the inspection of dams and reservoirs in the county of Kauai in a joint effort with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). DLNR instructed all dam or reservoir owners to immediately inspect and report back to them the nature and condition of their structures.

USACE’s Lt Col. David Anderson noted that the inspections were purely visual, and not a formal Phase I or Phase II dam safety inspection, and that areas downstream of the spillway or upstream of the reservoirs were not inspected.

And DLNR chairperson Peter Young said that the DLNR requested and received US$5M from the state Legislature to cover further, more thorough inspections.

The Kauai dam inspection reports have been posted on the DLNR home page and can then be accessed via the Dam Inspection Reports hyperlink.

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Department of Land and Natural Resources