Climate scientist Daniel Swain was quoted in a recent Los Angeles Times article about the Mojave River Dam. Federal engineers have concluded that the 48-year-old structure protecting the high desert communities of Victorville, Hesperia, Barstow, and Apple Valley is not in compliance with national safety standards. In the event of an extreme flood, the erosion and collapse of the dam could inundate 16,000 people and cause $1.5 billion in property damage.
While floods have never spilled over the top of the 200-foot dam, the article states that researchers are concerned that California could be hit by more extreme storms in a warming world. “The risks of catastrophic flooding are not as rare as they once were, and they will be less rare in the future,” Swain said.
Read the full LA Times article.
Daniel Swain currently holds joint appointments as a climate scientist within UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, a research fellow in the Capacity Center for Climate and Weather Extremes at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and as the California Climate Fellow at The Nature Conservancy.