The Oroville Dam's flood-control manual hasn't been updated in almost 50 years.  While experts say that is not the reason for the current situation with the dam's spillway, some believe it does highlight an underlying issue with California's dams.

Getty Images

Many of the manuals still used for California's flood-control dams were designed years ago - using data compiled before factors like climate change came into play.  UC-Davis researcher Ann Willis says early-season snow is now being washed downstream by warmer storms, which she believes will soon be the norm for the state's basins.

The manuals are prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The Corps' Tyler Stalker says a water control manual's usefulness does not depend on whether its changed or not.

Stalker says the data in water control manuals is examined yearly to make sure it is still functional.