Redding, Calif. – Over the next several months, Bureau of Reclamation geologists are extracting core samples from on, around and deep within Shasta Dam. Gathered data will be used to characterize concrete and geology conditions related to a proposed 18.5-foot Shasta Dam raise.

The federal government has been studying the idea of raising the dam and enlarging Shasta Reservoir on and off since the 1980s.

The current Shasta Dam and Reservoir Enlargement Project envisions raising the existing dam by 18.5 feet, providing an additional 630,000 acre-feet of stored water for the environment and for water users. Enlarging the reservoir will improve water supply reliability for agricultural, municipal and industrial, and environmental uses; reduce flood damage; and improve water temperatures and water quality in the Sacramento River below the dam for anadromous fish survival.

The project is currently in the preconstruction and design phase following Congressional approval of $20 million in Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act funding last March.

Other pre-construction activities ongoing or to be scheduled include: consultations and coordination with tribal interests, land-owners, government and non-government agencies; real estate planning; and arranging for a non-federal cost share partner.

Reclamation expects to issue the first construction contract for the dam raise by December 2019. The total cost of the project is estimated at $1.4 billion (in 2014 dollars).

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