Water releases from Dorena Dam to double

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. - Water releases from Dorena Dam will likely double over the next few days, resulting in higher Row River flows and more rapid lowering of reservoir water levels, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.

The Corps has been releasing between 500 and 600 cubic feet of water per second from the dam for the last month as part of its normal drawdown of the reservoir from its summer elevation of 832 feet above sea level to its winter flood control elevation of 770 feet.

Symbiotics Energy requested the Corps draw down the reservoir by Oct. 15 rather than the usual Nov. 1 to facilitate construction of the Dorena Lake Dam Hydropower Project.  

Symbiotics construction crews need access to upstream areas where the project’s new penstock will penetrate the concrete portion of them dam.

The Corps agreed to an early drawdown and will increase flows over two days to about 1,200 cubic feet per second, although reaching 770 feet by Oct. 15 is not assured.