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$823 Million, 31 Billion-Gallon Calaveras Reservoir Dam Ready For Debut

After nearly two decades of planning and construction in the rolling, sun-baked hills of the Sunol Valley, crews are finishing a new, $823 million dam that will be the showpiece of a major overhaul to the Bay Area’s water delivery system. At the northernmost tip of the Calaveras Reservoir, the clatter and roar of heavy machinery fills the air as earthmovers and bulldozers, cutting deep treads in soft soil, line the dam’s sloping walls with riprap — big chunks of blueschist rock blasted off a nearby hillside that will defend the earthen structure against erosion.

Data Collection Begins Toward Raising Shasta Dam

Geologists are beginning take core samples to collect data for a proposal to raise Shasta Dam by 18 1/2 feet. The Bureau of Reclamation says the samples will be taken over the next few months from on, around and deep within the dam, in order to characterize concrete and geology conditions. The federal government has been studying the idea of raising the dam and enlarging Shasta Reservoir on and off since the 1980s. But the state of California, environmental groups and the Winnemem Wintu Tribe have been and remain opposed.

California’s Looming Water Pollution Problem

In the winter of 2001, Tom Frantz and a friend were cruising in his pick-up truck along a stretch of Highway 33 in Kern County, California. Known as the Petroleum Highway, this particular stretch of the roadway cuts across some of the state’s largest oil fields. Frantz, a mustachioed man whose wispy white hair is usually hidden beneath a beige fedora, was born and raised in Kern County; he was used to seeing pumpjacks bobbing up and down on the west side of the region, but on this cool winter day, a plume of steam in the distance caught his eye.

OPINION: San Diego’s Summer Tourism Boom Was Brought To You By Water

Three months ago, we predicted then that this would be one of the most successful summers for tourism in our county — and the season didn’t disappoint. More than 11 million people visited the county over the past three months, spending $3.5 billion and boosting our local economy. While it may not seem obvious, record-breaking tourist activity is only possible with access to a safe and reliable water supply. Every hotel stay, beach day and theme park visit bolsters the tourism industry’s annual economic impact of $17.9 billion. Take Comic-Con: 130,000 pop-culture fans attended the convention in July, generating a regional economic impact of $147.1 million.