Parsons Engineering Science and Harza Engineering have been awarded a joint venture contract to provide design services for the Olivenhain dam in San Diego county, California.

The reservoir and dam, which will be 20 miles north of San Diego city, is the first phase of a US$710M, 12-year emergency storage project (ESP).

Some 90% of San Diego County’s water is imported through pipelines that cross three major earthquake faults. The ESP, which is being implemented by the San Diego County Water Authority, will provide much-needed water in the event of a catastrophic earthquake or other interruptions, such as a prolonged drought.

When completed, the 320ft dam will be the highest roller-compacted concrete dam in the US and the first such dam in the seismically-active region of California.

The design is to be completed as a fast-track project and bids for construction are expected to begin by the end of this year, with final design completion by August 2000.

Construction has been scheduled for completion by July 2002.