The San Vicente Dam, which provides water to the San Diego region, is currently being raised from 220 to 337 feet in a project that more than doubles its capacity and marks the tallest dam raise in the United States. Members of the public can witness this historic project in action through a web cam that shows viewers time-lapsed progress of the construction.
San Diego County Water Authority officials announced this web-based camera system last month. On the San Vicente Dam Raise website, viewers can choose between two different vantage points: Topside or Downstream. The former is located on the right abutment of the dam and the latter looks directly at the dam from the reservoir keeper's house.
Every 30 minutes the cameras capture a picture of the dam's construction in progress. Water Authority officials view the photos, modify them if necessary and decide which ones to include in the time lapse before it's compiled. Once photos are selected, they're time-lapsed and posted to the site.
According to San Diego Water Authority Board Chairman Michael Hogan, "This dam raise will help protect the region's economy, job base and quality of life by increasing the amount of water available for use within the county." It's part of the Emergency Storage Project which is a system of pipelines, reservoirs and pumping station designed to supply the region with water in the case of an interruption. The construction, which officially began in June of 2009, is slated to take about four years. Officials estimate that the reservoir will re-open for recreation sometime between 2014 and 2017.