Tell Stanford University: It’s time to Remove Searsville Dam

Searsville Dam

Searsville Dam on San Francisquito Creek | Matt Stoecker

Searsville Dam was completed in 1892, one year after the founding of Stanford University. The dam blocks a unique creek, creating a stagnant reservoir that is 90% full of sediment. Stanford could replace the little water provided by Searsville Dam through modifications to existing water diversion facilities.

Searsville Dam endangers one of San Francisco Bay’s last wild and federally protected steelhead trout runs that cannot migrate past the barrier to their historic spawning grounds. The dam harms other threatened wildlife and also degrades water quality and habitat by stopping stream flow and spreading non-native species and degraded water from the artificial reservoir created behind it.

There are safety risks for local communities as well. The dam and reservoir sit adjacent to the active San Andreas Fault, and federal, state, and county agencies have designated Searsville Dam as a “high hazard” dam, predicting that if the dam failed, loss of property and life would result.

Take Action

We need Stanford to choose readily available and responsible water supply alternatives that protect our communities, our creeks, and our wildlife. Tell Stanford University to remove this obsolete dam and restore San Francisquito Creek.

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