Bringing California’s Dams Up To Date

There are more than 1,400 dams in California. When the earliest of them was built, the goals were clear: store water, control floods and generate electricity. Since then, new priorities have been added, such as protecting endangered species, which makes relicensing the dams a very pricey and lengthy process.

Powerlines crisscross the Yuba River, just below the New Colgate Powerhouse.


This story aired on The California Report on June 19, 2012, the last of a four-part series about the connection between water and energy in California. I also co-wrote two graphic illustrations explaining how they’re connected, and oversaw the production of the multimedia and interactive features for the series.

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Molly Samuel

Molly joined KQED as an intern in 2007, and since then has worked here as a reporter, producer, director and blogger. Molly has also reported for NPR, KALW and High Country News, and has produced audio stories for The Encyclopedia of Life and the Oakland Museum of California. She has a degree in Ancient Greek from Oberlin College and is a co-founder of the record label True Panther Sounds.

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