Raising Shasta Dam

Vital to do this, as we noted in a previous blog post, https://riverparkwayblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/dams-water-storage-raising-shasta-building-auburn/

This article from the Sacramento Bee explores the politics involved in even a minimal raise of 18 feet rather than the best option of 200 feet.

An excerpt.

Democrats in Congress have stalled an attempt to jump start an expansion of Shasta Dam, California’s largest reservoir and a major water source for the Central Valley.

Their objections blocked a Republican gambit to allow the $1.3 billion project to move forward without full up-front funding and despite objections from Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration.

A Democratic leadership aide in the House confirmed to the Sacramento Bee on Monday that House Democrats rejected a GOP proposal to speed preparations for the project, by eliminating a requirement on the amount of upfront funding needed for pre-construction.

Democrats also pressed to include language in the House spending bill that would ensure the federal Bureau of Reclamation follows all state and federal laws when it comes to the dam. State law currently bars the dam from being enlarged.

Officials have debated the idea of raising Shasta Dam for years. The effort hit a major roadblock in 2015 after a feasibility study by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation called for more non-federal funding for the project. The bureau declined to make a recommendation on how to move it forward.

Republicans in Washington, however, haven’t given up on the project.

With the Trump administration in their corner, GOP lawmakers from California are making a renewed push to raise the height of the dam, which would increase storage in Shasta Lake by 634,000 acre-feet, or 14 percent.

Shasta Dam is the linchpin of the federal Central Valley Project (CVP), which brings water to agricultural and urban water agencies as far south as Kings County in the San Joaquin Valley. Increasing its storage capacity is a priority for the state’s water-intensive agricultural interests.

Under the administration’s proposal, the Shasta Dam enlargement requires a 50 percent non-federal share be paid upfront, prior to construction.

Brown’s administration isn’t inclined to provide that funding. It opposes raising the height of the dam citing environmental impacts as well as the risk of flooding sacred grounds belonging to the Winnemum Wintu Indian tribe.

Retrieved March 20, 2018 from http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article205939189.html


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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