The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation studied four plans for Shasta Dam and Lake Shasta – they varied from do nothing to increase the height of the dam by as 18 feet. The study determined that increasing the total height of the dam would be both feasible and justified.

The increase in height would have some repercussions, however, for some of the areas surrounding the lake. The rising water would inundate some homes, businesses, and resorts. Additionally, the Winnemem band of Wintu Indians says that religious and cultural sites would be underwater.

The cost for raising the dam could be $1.1 billion, but it would increase the amount of water available for 2 million Californians and 3 million acres of California agricultural lands.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

The billion dollars it would cost to raise the dam holding back the largest reservoir in California would, at least on the surface, be money well spent, a federal study concluded this week.

A study by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation found that the maximum possible enlargement of Lake Shasta near Redding – a scheme that would add 18.5 feet to the top of the dam – would be both feasible and “economically justified.”

Read the full article here.