The Drought, Pipelines & Raising Shasta

Another drought story, this one from the California Water Blog at

At some point someone is going to realize that—just as we can build oil pipelines across continents, we can also build water pipelines and start moving water from where there is too much of it to where there is too little of it.

Which, by the way, was the original intent of the engineers and public leaders with the California dam building projects in the last century which, if they had been completed, would have resulted in a completed Auburn Dam and a Shasta Dam 200 feet higher, which would have tripled its storage capacity, as Wikipedia notes:

“The expansion is considered feasible because the dam’s foundations were originally built to carry the weight of a 800-foot structure, but resources shortages at the onset of World War II prevented completing it to its final height.

“Reclamation has suggested three options for the dam raise, ranging from less than 20 feet to more than 200 feet . 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 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 , 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.”

Retrieved March 2, 2015 from .

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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