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August 27, 2012


Chris Gilbride / Ted Timbers (718) 595-6600

DEP Announces Addition of Movable Barrier Gates to Gilboa Dam

Gates will provide for enhanced water level control at Schoharie Reservoir

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection today announced that pneumatic crest gates have been added to the top of the Gilboa Dam. The eleven stainless steel gate panels, each twenty feet in length and weighing over 5,400 pounds, add a movable, rigid barrier that provides added flood protection downstream of the Dam. The installation of the gates restores DEP’s ability to maximize the storage capacity of the Schoharie Reservoir while simultaneously providing the flexibility to create excess storage space by lowering the gates and releasing water. The gates can be controlled either locally or remotely and are raised by the inflation of air bladders below the gates. A 400 gallon tank of compressed air located within the Dam’s control center provides a constant flow of air to the system.

“The addition of these gates provides us with the flexibility to create storage room in the Schoharie Reservoir in advance of a major storm,” said DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland. “It is a signal of our on-going commitment to provide for the water needs of over nine million New Yorkers while also enhancing flood protection for the downstream communities.”

The Gilboa Dam was built from 1919 to 1927 and impounds the Schoharie Reservoir, the northernmost reservoir in the City’s Catskill water supply system, which at full capacity can reach 17.6 billion gallons of water. As part of a long-term rehabilitation and strengthening project, in 2006 a 220 foot long by 5.5 foot deep notch was cut from the top of the westernmost portion of the Dam in order to lower water levels and allow for the installation of 80 anchoring cables into the top and outer face of the Dam. The cables were drilled through the Dam and into the bedrock below creating an anchor which provides further support. In 2008 contractors began the $8 million addition of the pneumatic gates which now span the 220 foot notch.

The full scale rehabilitation of the Dam will cost more than $400 million and will include reinforcing the Dam with 234 million pounds of concrete, reconstructing the spillway and Dam face and installing a new diversion tunnel around the Dam from the Schoharie Reservoir into Schoharie Creek. The reconstruction will bring the Dam into accord with stringent State standards for new dam construction and is expected to be completed in 2019.

DEP manages the city’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City, and residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and comprises 19 reservoirs, and three controlled lakes. Approximately 1,000 DEP employees live and work in the watershed communities as scientists, engineers, surveyors, and administrative professionals, and perform other critical responsibilities. DEP has invested more than $1.5 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program for the repair of Gilboa Dam and other in-city and upstate infrastructure, with a planned $13.2 billion in investments over the next 10 years. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter at

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600