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.
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.
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.