Undamming Klamath

Swiftwater Films

The team at Swiftwater Films has been camped out on the Klamath as the Klamath River dams come down. They are working on a feature documentary Undamming Klamath and have been posting regular updates on their social channels. Follow along and stay tuned as the removals continue.

From Swiftwater: “January 23rd, 2024, a 12 ft. diameter tunnel was blasted at the base of the 101-year-old Copco 1 dam on the Klamath River, initiating reservoir drawdown prior to dam removal. An estimated 4000 cubic feet a second of water and sediment was released. The dam will be entirely removed by the end of 2024.

This past summer, crews blasted a 90 ft. adit tunnel at the base of the dam, inserted pipe, and armored it with boulders and 1000 yards of concrete. 800 lbs. of dynamite was used to blast the remaining concrete plug to set the river free, and a surge of water barreled several miles past the former Copco 2 dam and the majestic Wards Canyon that had been mainly dewatered for a century and into newly formed river channels in the former Iron Gate Reservoir.

This documentation is part of a 6-year independent feature film about the Undamming of the Klamath River and the 20-year campaign behind it.

Our productions are made possible through grants and private donations. Tax-deductible donations are available through The Redford Center if you are interested in supporting this work.

Blast team:
Drill Tech Contractor: Kiewit Corporation
Blast Contractor: Mc Donegan drilling and blasting
Owners rep: McMillen Corporation
Owner: Klamath River Renewal Corporation
Film Production: Swiftwater Films


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