The abundant Cold-water springs of the Shasta Region are vital to California's water supply but they remain poorly understood and unprotected.
As snow and rain fall on the slopes of Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lassen and the other peaks of the southern Cascades, this precipitation eventually seeps through the surface and enters a vast network of aquifers that represents one of the most important sources of fresh water in California. The abundant source of cold water rises continuously and insistently to the surface in numerous springs throughout the area contributing large volumes of water to the rivers that flow into the Shasta and Almanor reservoirs.
On average the total discharge from the area's springs flows at 3000 cubic feet per second and contributes nearly 700 billion gallons annually to Shasta Reservoir. The water contributes about 20% of the summertime flow of the lower Sacramento River.