New Bullards Bar Dam is a
dam in California on the Yuba River and
forms the New Bullards Bar Reservoir, which has a capacity of 996,103 acre feet (1.23
km³). It is located near the town of Dobbins in Yuba County.
The dam is operated by the Yuba County
Water Agency for irrigation, drinking water and hydroelectric
power production. The dam is a
variable radius concrete arch design and has a height of 645 feet
(195 m). It is in the top 40 dams in the world for height and in
the top 50 for reservoir size.
New Bullards Bar Dam was constructed by the Yuba County Water Agency
agency was created through an act of the state legislature in 1959
specifically to construct a flood control reservoir in response to
the flood of 1955. The bulk of the financing for the dam came from
the issuance of revenue bonds. The dam was completed in 1969.
It provides water for the Colgate powerplant, which has a
generating capacity of 315 megawatts. There also are three other
powerplants on the Yuba River - Narrows 2 Powerhouse, Deadwood
Creek, and Fish Release - with a combined generation capacity of
New Bullards Bar
Reservoir provides flood control space between September 15
and May 31 of each year.
There are 170,000 acre feet
(210,000,000 m³) of flood control storage space between October 31
and March 31.
New Bullards Bar Dam is one of five dams on the Yuba River.
dams are: Englebright
Dam, Our House, Log Cabin and Daguerre Point Dam (a
sediment barrier dam).
The New Colgate Powerhouse
not located at the dam. It is five miles (8 km) downstream, which
increases the head
change). Its two Pelton wheels
combined capacity of 325 megawatts and are some of the biggest ever
made. The small Fish Release powerhouse was constructed in 1986 at
the base of the dam. It has a capacity of 150 kW and provides water
for fish on the Yuba River.
A 14 ft (4.3 m) diameter penstock drains water from the New
Bullards Bar Reservior several miles through a mountain and down a
large hill to deliver water to the Colgate Powerhouse. In 2006 a
168 inch (4.3 m) butterfly valve was designed and manufactured in
Europe for installation in the penstock at the top of the hill to
protect the powerhouse from flooding in the event that an
earthquake or other event caused the penstock to rupture. This
valve uses a design similar to the valve installed at the base of
the dam many years ago.
A view of Bullards Bar dam and
reservoir from Marysville Rd