Risks, Vulnerabilities & Resource Management

California Water and Flood Management, California, USA

The New Bullards Bar Dam provides flood control, 340 MW of clean energy, and a reliable water supply for residents and the ecosystem. Over 50 years after its construction, extreme weather events have become more frequent and intense, increasing the risk to its structural integrity. The agency combined drone surveys and automated sensors with Bentley applications to improve inspections and obtain the level of detail that dam operator Yuba Water Agency needed. Combining IoT, 3D reality modeling, and artificial intelligence enabled survey teams to monitor the dam remotely, automatically detect tiny but growing cracks, and establish real-time, automated monitoring of the dam’s structural integrity. The new automated system provides 1,000 times more data monitoring points than the previous method, improving data accuracy by 50% and risk assessment by 100%. As a result, Yuba Water can immediately assess the dam during extreme weather events and after earthquakes to prevent disasters. Yuba Water now has renewed confidence that New Bullards Bar Dam will remain safer and more resilient in the face of climate change.

Extreme drought conditions have created water scarcity in the US West. In the Southern California Water Replenishment District (WRD) LA County, California, Bentley developed 3D models of the local water basins, creating a better understanding of groundwater flow and identifying contamination. These models helped WRD make the region more sustainable and drought resilient using local resources, including advanced treated recycled water to replenish groundwater supplies.