Stanford University embarked on the Searsville Alternatives Study in 2011 to develop a recommended course of action to address the future of Searsville Dam and Reservoir, taking into account its continued sedimentation issues, the surrounding environmental resources, and the associated San Francisquito Creek watershed. Kearns & West was engaged in 2012 to convene and facilitate an external Advisory Group comprised of non-governmental organizations, community interests, and local, state, and federal agencies. The Group was tasked with developing goals for the Alternatives Study, reviewing many technical reports and providing recommendations on nine alternatives.
In May 2015, after more than two years of study and evaluation, Stanford University announced its decision to further develop and evaluate two alternative ways to achieve fish passage, while avoiding an increase in downstream or upstream flooding and also preserving/providing riparian and wetlands habitat. This decision marks the first time Stanford is planning to make a significant change to the dam since it was built in 1892 and, based on the process, it is broadly supported by members of the diverse Advisory Group. To learn more about the University’s decision, you can find the full recommendations report here.