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Shasta Dam Expansion Explorations Underway

Raising the height of the Shasta Dam in Northern California has been on the table since the 1980s. Now it looks like the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation is going through with it.
September 27, 2018, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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David Greitzer

Maven's Notebook shares news from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation about progress on a controversial project that would raise the dam at California's largest reservoir by 18.5 feet.

According to the Bureau of Reclamation announcement, "geologists are extracting core samples from on, around and deep within Shasta Dam. Gathered data will be used to characterize concrete and geology conditions related to a proposed 18 ½ feet Shasta Dam raise."

Raising the dam will allow an additional 630,000 acre-feet of storage in the reservoir. The Bureau of Reclamation is touting the project for its benefit to agricultural, commercial, and environmental interests, but the politics of the project aren't neat and clean, as detailed in a post by Katharine Jose from March 2018. For more on the Shasta Dam and Reservoir Enlargement Project, see a Bureau of Reclamation website set up for the project.

Congress approved $20 million in funding for the project in March, through the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act.

Meanwhile, the state has also been pouring money into water storage projects, with $2.7 billion in Proposition 1 awarded to projects in July 2018.

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Published on Monday, September 24, 2018 in Maven's Notebook
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