The Bureau of Reclamation is proposing to raise Shasta Dam to increase storage capacity by 3%, delivering more water for the Central Valley Project. On Thursday the agency released its environmental impact statement for public comment, the first step in the process.
“California simply does not have enough carryover storage, and this is a strategic project that is smart, cost-effective and an environmentally sound investment for California,” said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman in a statement.
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Last year Attorney General Xavier Becerra led an effort to block the Westlands Water District from performing an environmental review for the project. The state argued the California Wild and Scenic Rivers Act prohibits “agencies of the state” from impacting the free flows of the McCloud River.
This means other potential cost-sharing partners for the bureau would also be bound by those restrictions, according to researchers at the Public Policy Institute of California, and neither Congress nor Legislature have shown interest in changing that.