Shasta Lake Helped Water California; Now its Dryness is a Threat to the State

Few places are more critical to the water supply in California than this immense northern reservoir in the foothills of the Cascade Range.

Fed by runoff from 14,163-foot Mount Shasta and other peaks, California’s largest reservoir opened in 1945 as part of the federal Central Valley Project, an elaborate system of man-made dams, pumps and aqueducts that aims to reduce flood risks and deliver water to farms and cities in the heart of the semiarid state.