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Evil Westlands!

It is now apparently against the law to even try to build more storage in California.

May 20, 2019

It is now apparently against the law to even try to build more storage in California.  That's what California's Attorney General and a bunch of environmental groups are saying when they filed a lawsuit against the district for trying to raise Shasta Dam.  Remember, Westlands sits there with a 65% allocation in this very wet year and is trying to find a way to get more surface water delivered to their farmers instead of having to pump from the underground aquifer.  The State of California is saying even attempting to raise Shasta Dam is against the law.  We suppose that's one way to make sure it never happens.

The Attorney General reasons that because the McCloud River is designated as Wild and Scenic, and because it flows into Lake Shasta, and because raising the dam would raise the water level in the lake and inundate about 2/3 of a mile of the river, and because the Wild and Scenic Act protects the river from any kind of development, the state says even trying to amend the law is against the law.  Seems like typical environmental shenanigans.

The protected portion of the McCloud River is about 50-miles.  Impacting just a portion of a mile, or about 1% of the river for all the benefits it would bring seems like a reasonable solution, a very doable compromise.  Environmental groups retain 99% of the Wild and Scenic, while residents and farmers get 1%.  Doesn't seem like a lot to ask.  And, by the way, most of the time that portion of the river would not be inundated, only when the dam is full, probably only in wet years like this which are rare, and only for part of the year.  

This tiny compromise is too much for environmental groups and the Attorney General.  They not only want to stop Westlands from raising the dam, but are accusing them of breaking the law for even trying.  Only in California.  

California AG Xavier Becerra, environmental groups sue to stop Shasta Dam raise:  “Citing the state’s Wild and Scenic Rivers Act'

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