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Dam Difficult!!

Ever wonder why California has such difficulty in building the vitally needed surface storage?

Mar 17, 2018

Ever wonder why California has such difficulty in building the vitally needed surface storage?  Note the letter below from the Governor’s appointed head of the California Natural Resources Agency opposing any help from the Federal Government in enlarging Shasta Dam. 

With the sitting Governor (who has been ‘sitting’ on water storage for 16 years while in office) appointing agency heads philosophically opposed to storage, and also appointing environmental ideologues to decision making State Boards (e.g., the State Water Resources Control Boards), and the State Water Commission which decides on how bond money is spent regardless of the Bond language, water storage will NOT happen in this State until we have a fundamental change in State leadership.  Don’t hold your breath on that possibility.  This is a ‘one party’ State and those recommending storage will continue to be out voted by the ignoramuses and ideologues who elect clueless and partisan legislators. 

Letter to Congress from California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird:

March 13, 2018 

The Honorable Paul Ryan 
Speaker of the Houseof Representatives 
1233 Longworth House Office Building 
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi   
Democratic Leader  
233 Cannon House Office Building 
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Mitch McConnell 
U.S. Senate Majority Leader
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Charles Schumer 
U.S. Senate Minority Leader  
322 Hart Senate Office Building 
Washington, DC 20510  

Re: Shasta Dam and Reservoir Enlargement Project 

Dear Honorable Representatives Ryan, Pelosi, McConnell and Schumer, The letter is to express opposition to the Department of the Interior’s proposal to fund design and pre-construction activities associated with the proposed Shasta Dam and Reservoir Enlargement Project. 

As you may be aware, the Shasta Dam enlargement project would violate California law due to the adverse impacts that project may have on the McCloud River and its fishery. California Public Resources Code section 5093.542 generally prohibits state agencies and departments from assisting in any way “in the planning or construction of any dam, reservoir, diversion, or other water impoundment facility that could have an adverse effect on the free-flowing condition of the McCloud River, or on its wild trout fishery.” 

California shares the Department of Interior’s commitment to investing in new water storage. In 2014, California voters overwhelmingly approved a $7.5 billion water bond (Proposition 1) that provides $2.7 billion to invest in new water storage. The California Water Commission is reviewing 11 proposed projects as part of a competitive process and expects to make initial funding determinations and award early funding this summer. The Shasta Dam enlargement project would inundate several miles of the protected McCloud River in violation of state law and therefore is not eligible for Proposition 1 funding. 

Leveraging state, local and federal dollars is the most effective way to ensure that important water storage projects are funded and built. As such, I ask that you not pursue the Shasta Dam enlargement project, which disregards California law, and instead work with the State of California to fund water storage projects consistent with our California Water Action Plan and Proposition 1. 


John Laird 
Secretary for California Natural Resources 

cc: Members of the California Congressional Delegation 

Scott J. Cameron, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, United States Department of the Interior

California doesn't want this towering water project. Trump administration may build it anyway

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