Raise Shasta Dam: Good for Water Contractors, Not Fish

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The United States Bureau of Reclamation has released for public review the Shasta Lake Water Resources Investigation Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SLWRI DEIS). It's a long name for a simple but incredibly expensive and destructive idea – raising one of the tallest dams in California to expand what is already the largest reservoir in the state, supposedly to improve downstream river conditions for salmon and steelhead.

If the bizarre concept of a dam helping fish made your head spin, you're not the only one suffering from this oxymoron.

Hidden in this massive document is the real reason for the dam raise – every extra drop of water stored behind the raised dam will be sold to federal water contractors downstream, with 77% of the water sold for export south of the Delta. Which means the Shasta Dam raise is directly tied the proposal by water contractors and Governor Jerry Brown to build enormous twin tunnels under the Delta, which will divert large amounts of fresh water from the Sacramento River (much of it stored upstream behind Shasta Dam) for export to large corporate farms in the San Joaquin Valley and Tulare Basin. Read the Full Story.

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