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Agencies Dismiss Concerns About Trump’s Calif. Water Plan

California water projects have pushed winter-run chinook salmon into the single place that remains suitable for them to breed: the reservoir behind the Shasta Dam.

Even that sanctuary fails during drought years as the same pressures that drove salmon into the reservoir — too little water and too much heat — take hold in their only breeding ground. Climate change is making those pressures worse, and the chinook population is closer than ever to extinction, according to NOAA Fisheries.

 

California Dam-raising Project Favored by Trump Stumbles After Water Agency Retreats

Opposed by California officials, the Trump administration’s $1.3 billion plan to raise Shasta Dam and increase reservoir storage has run into a roadblock that could delay the project or even kill it.

The state has called raising Shasta Dam a potential environmental disaster for the nearby McCloud River — and has succeeded in bottling up the project by obtaining court rulings that prevent Westlands Water District from preparing an environmental review required by state law.

New Water Year Kicks Off With Surplus: California Has Greater Reservoir Storage Than Last Year

Future Uncertain For Shasta Dam Raising After Irrigation District Stops Work On Study

Following losses in court, a Fresno-based irrigation district has backed off its plans to do an environmental study on raising the height of Shasta Dam.

The Westlands Water District announced Monday that it has stopped working on the report because it could not meet the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s schedule for the project.

The bureau is trying to get non-federal partners to help pay half the cost of the $1.4 billion project to raise the height of the dam 18½ feet.

The Interior Secretary Wants to Enlarge a Dam. An Old Lobbying Client Would Benefit.

For years, the Interior Department resisted proposals to raise the height of its towering Shasta Dam in Northern California. The department’s own scientists and researchers concluded that doing so would endanger rare plants and animals in the area, as well as the bald eagle, and devastate the West Coast’s salmon industry downstream.

California’s Shasta Dam Project Hits Financial, Legal Snags

Feds want to raise dam, expand reservoir to improve water reliability State officials, environmental groups say plan violates California law A plan to raise and expand California’s largest reservoir is on hold as federal officials look for partners to share in the $1.4 billion cost. The federal Bureau of Reclamation also must grapple with opponents who have sued, saying the Shasta Dam project violates state law. The bureau has long-pushed to raise its 602-foot Shasta Dam by 18.5 feet and enlarge the reservoir by 630,000 acre-feet, saying it would increase water supply reliability and reduce flood risks. An acre-foot is about 326,000 gallons of water.

Federal Efforts To Raise Shasta Dam By 18.5 Feet Spark Conversations About Environmental Impacts

Recent plans to enlarge California’s Shasta Dam by 18.5 feet have raised concerns over possible cultural and ecological implications on wildlife among the Winnemem Wintu people and environmental groups alike. Shasta Dam on the Sacramento River is run by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which has been evaluating its potential raise for more than 20 years. After a 2015 feasibility report and environmental impact statement, the bureau determined that an 18.5-foot raise would cost about $1.3 billion.

Shasta Dam Project Sets Up Another Trump-California Showdown

The Trump administration is laying the groundwork to enlarge California’s biggest reservoir, the iconic Shasta Dam, north of Redding, by raising its height. It’s a saga that has dragged on for decades, along with the controversy surrounding it. But the latest chapter is likely to set the stage for another showdown between California and the Trump administration.