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Shasta Dam
Shasta Dam Colored.jpg
Shasta Dam in April 2009
Country United States
Location Shasta County, California
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Status In use
Construction began 1938
Opening date 1945 (1945)
Owner(s) U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Concrete gravity
Impounds Sacramento River
Height 602 ft (183 m)
Length 3,460 ft (1,050 m)
Width (crest) 30 ft (9.1 m)
Width (base) 543 ft (166 m)
Dam volume 65,350,000 cu yd (49,960,000 m3)
Spillways 1
Spillway type River outlets+triple drum gates
Spillway capacity 267,800 cu ft/s (7,580 m3/s)
Reservoir
Creates Shasta Lake
Total capacity 4,552,000 acre⋅ft (5,615 GL)
Inactive capacity 116,000 acre⋅ft (143 GL)
Catchment area 6,665 sq mi (17,260 km2)
Surface area 29,740 acres (12,040 ha)
Maximum water depth 522.5 ft (159.3 m)
Power station
Commission date 1944-1945
Type Conventional
Hydraulic head 330 ft (100 m)
Turbines 2x 125MW, 3x 142MW
Installed capacity 676 MW
1,976 MW (proposed)
Annual generation 1,935 GWh (2001–2012)

Shasta Dam (called Kennett Dam before its construction) is a concrete arch-gravity dam across the Sacramento River in Northern California in the United States. At 602 feet (183 m) high, it is the eighth-tallest dam in the United States. Located at the north end of the Sacramento Valley, Shasta Dam creates Shasta Lake for long-term water storage, flood control, hydroelectricity and protection against the intrusion of saline water. The largest reservoir in the state, Shasta Lake can hold about 4,500,000 acre feet (5,600 GL).

Envisioned as early as 1919 as an effort to conserve, control, store, and distribute water to the Central Valley, California's main agricultural region, Shasta was first authorized in the 1930s as a state undertaking. However, bonds did not sell due to the onset of the Great Depression and Shasta was transferred to the federal Bureau of Reclamation as a public works project. Construction started in earnest in 1937 under the supervision of Chief Engineer Frank Crowe. During its building, the dam provided thousands of much-needed jobs; it was finished twenty-six months ahead of schedule in 1945. When completed, the dam was the second-tallest in the United States after Hoover, and was considered one of the greatest engineering feats of all time.

Even before its dedication, Shasta Dam served an important role in World War II providing electricity to California factories, and still plays a vital part in the management of state water resources today. However, it has greatly changed the environment and ecology of the Sacramento River, and flooded sacred Native American tribal lands. In recent years, there has been debate over whether or not to raise the dam in order to allow for increased water storage and power generation.

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