AW Opposes Bureau of Reclamation Proposal to Raise Shasta Dam (CA)
By: Megan Hooker
The Bureau of Reclamation has had their sight set on raising the height of California's Shasta Dam for years, and the agency is currently soliciting comment on a Draft Feasibility Report for their Shasta Lake Water Resources Investigation. The proposed project preferred by the agency would raise the dam by 18.5 feet, further inundating the McCloud and Upper Sacramento Rivers.
The McCloud and Upper Sacramento Rivers are valued by whitewater enthusiasts throughout California. The McCloud is one of the best intermediate level wilderness runs in the state, and running the river is currently a rare treat due to hydroelectric operations at the McCloud-Pit Hydroelectric Project. The Sacramento is a fun Class III/IV run that is easily accessible and has more predictable flows. Currently, paddlers must endure a mile-long paddle in the reservoir to make it to the take-out at McCloud Bridge Campground. The proposed dam raise would not only more than double this paddle, but would also inundate numerous important cultural and recreational sites. The McCloud and Sacramento Rivers are already heavily impacted by the Shasta Dam and other projects in the area, and American Whitewater submitted comments today opposing the project because of its recreation, environmental and economic impacts. Read our comments here.
While this proposed project is being packaged as a water supply solution for a thirsty state, the reality is that it will do little to address the core of the state's water problems. The average annual yield of water would increase by just 7%, and this additional water would be delivered to a small number of agricultural users south of the Delta. Meanwhile, the burden of paying the hefty price tag for the project would be placed on the taxpayers of California and local businesses and citizens who rely on the McCloud and Upper Sacramento Rivers remaining healthy and free-flowing for their livelihoods. American Whitewater supports federal agencies looking closely at alternative ways to address the root of California's water supply problems, including addressing subsidies.
We encourage you to weigh in with the Bureau of Reclamation–comments are being accepted through Monday, January 28th. You can submit your comments via e-mail to Katrina Chow.
4 Baroni Drive
Chico, CA 95928
Phone: 530-343-1871Full Profile