The citizens' not-for-profit advocacy group for Dam Safety and Flood Mitigation in the Schoharie Drainage Basin

About Us

Dam Concerned Citizens, Inc. is a not-for-profit citizens' advocacy group for Dam Safety and Flood Mitigation in the Schoharie Drainage Basin. Our goals are to monitor structural vulnerabilities, safety issues and flood concerns at the Gilboa Dam and Schoharie Reservoir, improve dam safety and provide the public a voice.

Crisis in Schoharie Valley

In September 2005, it was revealed by New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) that the Gilboa Dam, built by the City of New York in 1926 as part of its water supply system, had developed critical structural vulnerabilities that posed serious risks for the Schoharie Valley downstream, in Schoharie, Montgomery and Schenectady Counties.

After a long history of deferred maintenance, the adhesion between the dam structure and the underlying bedrock had been seriously compromised, resulting in a risk of the dam potentially sliding in a high water situation. It was imperative that appropriate emergency response plans be developed and that both short-term and long-term rehabilitation of the dam structure be undertaken.

Public Participation and Information

Since the outset of this crisis, Dam Concerned Citizens, Inc ( DCC ) has been a catalyst for mobilizing public participation in the process, and for getting critical information to the public throughout the region, including weather and water level data via the DCC website, and for ensuring accountability of government agencies at all levels.

Immediate concerns advocated by DCC included development of emergency evacuation plans, signage for flood evacuation routes, and a state-of-the-art system of emergency sirens throughout the valley. We have also actively proposed enhancements to the interim structural measures undertaken to reinforce the dam, as well as to the ultimate design for the long-term rehabilitation project.

The past two and a half years since our formation has been a period of intense activity. It has required persistence and a commitment of time and resources by many members. Those efforts have been productive in achieving some tangible, hard-won results. Further efforts will be required to address remaining challenges.

The purpose of Dam Concerned Citizens, Inc.

The purpose of Dam Concerned Citizens, Inc. is to the improve the safety, protection and welfare of Schoharie Valley residents from the threat of flood by causing speedy and thorough repairs to be made, and flood control capability to be added, to the Gilboa Dam.

Dam Concerned Citizens, Inc. also seeks to inform people about dam issues and flood hazard response and provide the public a voice in dam and flood issues.

Dam Concerned Citizens, Inc. recognizes a worldwide dam safety problem and seeks, world-wide and especially at the Gilboa Dam, 1) Use of the highest design, construction, operation, maintenance and inspection standards on dams; 2) Independent oversight of the design, con-struction, operation and maintenance of dams by qualified dam engineers, at no cost to local governments or residents; 3) Dam owners' indemnification of downstream residents and local governments for financial costs and losses attributable to dams; 4) Increased media awareness and the quality of media reporting on dam and flood issues.