Projects would expand state’s water storage

Ag Alert

Warning that California needs a concerted plan to adapt its aging water system to meet “significant and steadily mounting water insecurity issues” in the 21st century, the California Farm Bureau Federation has reiterated its support for two federal reservoir-expansion proposals.

In separate comment letters, CFBF backed plans by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to increase the capacity of Lake Shasta Reservoir and San Luis Reservoir.

The Shasta project involves raising the 602-foot-tall dam by 18.5 feet, or 3%, to increase water storage in Shasta Lake by 634,000 acre-feet. The Bureau of Reclamation says dedicated environmental storage from the expanded reservoir would improve water quality in the Sacramento River below the dam, by lowering water temperatures for survival of fish such as chinook salmon and others that migrate from the ocean to rivers to spawn. In addition, the agency said, the project would improve operational flexibility for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed downstream.

“Just as Shasta Dam and Lake are and have long been a cornerstone of California’s existing statewide water system, a modest expansion in this critical location is an indispensable part of any meaningful statewide water infrastructure adaptation strategy for the future,” CFBF wrote in its comments, filed last week.

Read more >