Democrats in Congress have stalled an attempt to jump start an expansion of Shasta Dam, California’s largest reservoir and a major water source for the Central Valley. Their objections blocked a Republican gambit to allow the $1.3 billion project to move forward without full up-front funding and despite objections from Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration.
While one federal agency wants to go forward with plans to raise the height of Shasta Dam, the congressman whose district includes the dam called it a “rumor that is going around all the time,” and said it is not his top priority for water projects in Northern California.
The proposal to raise the height of Shasta Dam is back on the table, with a 2019 federal budget request of $20 million for pre-construction and design work on the structure. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and several other water agencies in the state have been interested in raising the height of the dam for decades.
The Trump administration is pushing forward with a colossal public works project in Northern California — heightening the towering Shasta Dam the equivalent of nearly two stories. The problem is that California is dead-set against the plan, and state law prohibits the 602-foot New Deal-era structure from getting any taller.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent lawsuit against the State of California over immigration isn’t just about immigration, of course. More fundamentally, it’s about the limits of states’ rights. … And that begs the question: in what other areas could the feds trump, so to speak, California policies? Water is a strong candidate.
Rina Faletti received her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin. As a fellow with the UC Merced Center for the Humanities and in line with their focus on water, she curated an art exhibit on industrial photography and the Central Valley Project.
The Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources have scheduled a negotiation session with seven Cross Valley Contractors on long-term conveyance contracts for the delivery of federal Central Valley Project water conveyed through state-owned facilities.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Reclamation will hold a public Open House on Thursday, July 31, 2014, to present and solicit comments on the Central Valley Project Improvement Act Annual Work Plans for Fiscal Year 2015.
For the first time in the more than half a century that the federal government had been diverting Sierra Nevada water to farmers, there would be no deliveries to most Central Valley irrigation districts. In the third year of drought, there wasn’t enough water to go around.
Late-hour motorists on Interstate 5 should expect long delays between Cottage Grove and Sutherlin tonight while an oversize load carrying a massive [Folsom] dam gate is transported through the area, the state Department of Transportation said Tuesday. …
“The Bureau of Reclamation has scheduled a meeting to update the public on the current status of the ongoing Cost Allocation Study for the Central Valley Project. The focus of the meeting will be to discuss the methodology on calculating the economic benefits for irrigation and municipal and industrial water supply.”
From the California Department of Water Resources (DWR):
“Located next to San Luis Reservoir along Highway 152 in Merced County, the [Romero Visitors] center features exhibits of the area’s history, dam construction and State Water Project construction and operations.”
“Farmers, water district officials and city leaders expressed frustration Thursday over the decision by federal managers to tap water from Friant Dam to meet a long-standing obligation with west-side landowners.”
2014 is one of California’s driest years on record, creating challenging hydrologic conditions for operations of the state and federal projects that move water across the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and to much of California.
Attend this free briefing on Wednesday, June 4, at the Sacramento Convention Center and learn about water project challenges.
“The Challenges of the 2014 Drought: Water Project Operations,” is sponsored by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Water Education Foundation.
“Reclamation will begin increasing releases from Friant Dam near Fresno into the San Joaquin River on Thursday to help meet contractual obligations to deliver Central Valley Project water to the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.”