Dams & Water Storage: Raising Shasta & Building Auburn

Dan Walters noted in a column from last month in the Sacramento Bee, that “More storage may be California’s most important water issue”: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/16/6003145/dan-walters-more-storage-may-be.html#storylink=cpy

As we have continually advocated, and as the original engineering done for the California State Water Project several decades ago called for, a higher Shasta Dam and building Auburn Dam would virtually end California’s drought and flood water problems.

1) We cannot count on abundance, as the current drought is making crystal clear.

For the long term future we need the Auburn Dam, addressed in the January 15, 2011 article from Congressman Tom McClintock in the Sacramento Bee: “Auburn dam back in play as McClintock takes over House panel, (The article is no longer on the Bee’s website).

An excerpt.

The long-debated proposal for a dam on the American River seemed to formally die two years ago, when the state water board revoked rights for the project estimated to cost upward of $10 billion.

McClintock, though, insists the dam could live again given the proper cost-benefit analysis.

“Ultimately, it will be constructed,” McClintock said. “The only question is if it’s built in time to prevent the (Sacramento flooding) calamity.”

2) Additionally, for the absolute best storage, increase the raising of Shasta Dam from the current 600 feet high to the 800 feet high it was originally engineered to be, which would triple shortage from the existing 4,552,000 acre feet to 13,890,000 acre feet, as noted at Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shasta_Dam

An excerpt:

Reclamation has suggested three options for the dam raise, ranging from less than 20 feet (6.1 m) to more than 200 feet (61 m). The “low option”, which simply comprises adding a vertical concrete dike to the top of the dam, would provide maximum additional storage while minimizing requirements for reconstruction of buildings and facilities around Shasta Lake. The “intermediate option” would require adding more than 100 feet (30 m) to the crest and replacing the elevator towers on the front of the dam, and the Pit River Bridge and small towns around the lake, if not modified or moved, would be inundated. Finally, the “high option” would raise the dam over 200 feet (61 m), tripling the volume and doubling the surface area of the reservoir. Both the intermediate and high options would require saddle dams constructed at key points along the lake to keep it from overflowing.

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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