The plan to raise Shasta Dam and increase its water storage capacity is officially moving forward. The Trump Administration recently released the Shasta Lake Water Resources Investigation Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Shasta Lake reservoir would increase its water storage capacity by 634,000 acre-feet under the plan. It has been more than four decades since any significant federal water storage infrastructure has been built in the state. During that same time period, California’s population has nearly doubled.
“President Trump has made investing in our existing infrastructure a top priority. Raising Shasta Dam is one of the smartest and most cost-effective opportunities we have before us,” Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) Commissioner Brenda Burman said in a news release. “Shasta Dam sits at the head of California’s largest water system—the Central Valley Project. Not only will the project benefit farms, communities and the environment, it will provide ample opportunities for smarter water management.”
The plan to raise Shasta Dam three percent will increase storage capacity by more than 200 billion gallons, enough to support more than six million Californians annually. Shasta Dam is the most critical piece of water infrastructure that supports the Central Valley Project (CVP). Water from Shasta Lake is transported 450 miles south through the CVP providing water to nearly six million people and more than three million acres of farmland.
“We are pleased to achieve this significant milestone for such an important project for the state, said Regional Director of the California-Great Basin Ernest Conant. “California needs a more reliable water supply for agriculture and communities, and modernizing our existing infrastructure is one of the most efficient means to make that happen.”
BOR has been evaluating the feasibility of raising the dam for more than 30 years. More than 6,500 public comments were submitted on the Draft Supplemental EIS. The final document is available for review through the BOR.