Responding to questions, Kennedy said that raising Shasta Dam, which is the biggest
among the hundreds of projects listed in the report, "might be one of the most
economical ways ... from an engineering standpoint" of increasing the state's water
supply, but that there were environmental concerns.
"We are not proposing that this project be pursued. We are putting it out as an
option," Kennedy said of enlarging Shasta.
He gave similar replies to questions about two other controversial proposals, saying
Auburn Dam "is one of the options that might be available at a future date"
and that the Peripheral Canal is neither endorsed nor ruled out by the report.
Kennedy did say that drawing. more water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta during
high-flow periods is essential to increase future supplies, but that the new report
"doesn't assume any particular solution in the delta."
"Water is the life blood of California agriculture. We need more supply,"
added state Food and Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman
The updated water plan said the projected population growth to 47.S million
Californians by 2020 will reduce the state's agricultural land, and therefore reduce
agriculture's water needs from the current 33.8 million acre-feet annually to 31.5 million
But, it said, that will be more than offset by increased water needs for urban
residential and commercial users from the cur- rent 8.8 million to 12 million acre feet