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Posted 3/31/2015

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By Elizabeth Lockyear
Public Affairs


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – After Roswell, New Mexico, experienced mass flooding several times in the first part of the 20th century, the Albuquerque District constructed the Two Rivers flood control project, finished in 1963. The project consists of two dams, Diamond A Dam and Rocky Dam and was named Two Rivers because it provides Roswell flood control from the Rio Hondo and Rocky Arroyo.

Under normal conditions, water drains through Diamond A Dam via the reservoir’s main channel. However the late-summer monsoon season in 2013 produced anything but normal conditions for southeastern New Mexico. Water overflowed Diamond A’s main channel and the normally dry reservoir turned into a temporary lake. The excessive runoff deposited sediment and brought debris that threatened to choke the dam’s inlet area. Additionally, the water scoured the inlet area of the main channel causing erosion problems.

After looking at options, the District called in the Bureau of Reclamation.

The sediment and debris needed to be removed and the scoured area fixed to stop the erosion. Creating two additional channels in the reservoir would also help drain water more efficiently.

“They have the know-how to do this type of work,” said Seyfollah Etemadi, project manager with the District. “We appreciate their work.”

This isn’t the first time the District and Reclamation have collaborated. The two agencies have worked together on several projects such as the sediment removal of the Arch Hurley Conservancy District’s intake channel at Conchas Dam; flood-damaged culvert repairs near Galisteo Dam; sediment and debris removal from the trash racks at Jemez Canyon and Galisteo dams; and sediment removal within the Santa Clara Canyon following flood damages after the 2011 Las Conchas Fire. The results have benefited both agencies. Collaborating with other agencies like Reclamation is part of the District’s efforts to be good stewards of limited resources.

“Synergy within the Federal government has never been more important. The public has benefited greatly from the recent collaborations between Reclamation and the District,” said Jennifer Faler, Reclamation’s Deputy Area Manager in the Albuquerque Area Office.

The District did the design work and environmental approvals for the Two Rivers work in-house with many different offices coming together to support the work including the Hydrology and Hydraulics Section; Dam Safety; Operations Division; General and Environmental Engineering Section; Readiness and Contingency Operations Branch, and Environmental Services Section.

The District and Reclamation signed an interagency agreement and in early January Reclamation began work on the Two Rivers Diamond “A” Dam Channel erosion project. The final inspection took place March 5.

“We have a good relationship with Reclamation and are happy with their professional work. It’s a good relationship to keep,” said Etemadi.

bureau of reclamation construction Diamond A Dam flood damage Two Rivers