Raising Shasta Dam

This is a project we have long advocated for, and though the current project being proposed would only raise it by 18 feet, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle; it was originally engineered to be 200 feet higher than it now is, (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shasta_Dam )   which would have tripled its storage, virtually eliminating much of the drought and flood risk connected to the Sacramento River; but 18 feet is better than nothing.

An excerpt from the Chronicle article.

WASHINGTON — A long-awaited study requested by Congress concludes that enlarging Shasta Dam by 18.5 feet is technically and economically feasible, though the Bureau of Reclamation declined to make a formal recommendation to move ahead with the project.

The study found the most viable expansion option would cost an estimated $1.4 billion and provide an economic benefit of $30 million annually from increased salmon populations, water supply, flood control and recreational opportunities.

However, it was unclear who would be willing to take on the cost of construction.

Financing issues

The report said nonfederal alternative financing would have to be secured for a majority of the construction costs before the secretary of interior could recommend the project.

Nancy Vogel, deputy secretary for communications at the California Natural Resources Agency, said the project is not eligible for funding from Proposition 1, as funding cannot go to any project that would negatively affect a river protected under the state’s Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

Raising the dam would inundate portions of the protected McCloud River.

California is in the midst of a four-year drought that has forced tough decisions for many cities and farmers. Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered communities throughout the state to collectively reduce water use by 25 percent.

To prepare for future droughts, some federal and state lawmakers have said securing more water storage through new or expanded reservoirs is critical. They have grown frustrated with how long it has taken for the Bureau of Reclamation to complete feasibility studies on a handful of projects.

Congress first authorized the Shasta study in 1980.

Retrieved July 31, 2015 from http://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/Raising-Shasta-Dam-would-offer-economic-benefits-6418298.php

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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