Shasta Reservoir is California’s largest man-made lake with a gross pool storage capacity of 4,552,000 acre-feet.

Shasta Dam and Reservoir are located on the upper Sacramento River in northern California about 9 miles northwest of the City of Redding. The entire reservoir is within Shasta County. The reservoir controls runoff from about 6,421 square miles from four major tributaries including the Sacramento, McCloud, and Pit Rivers, Squaw Creek, and from numerous minor creeks and streams. Historically, essentially all outflow from Shasta Dam travels through northern California to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta southwest of Sacramento. The total drainage area of the Sacramento River at the Delta is about 26,300 square miles. The average annual runoff to the Delta from the Sacramento River watershed is about 17.2 million acre-feet. This represents about sixty-two percent of the total inflows to the Delta.

Shasta Dam is a curved, gravity-type, concrete structure 487 feet high above the streambed with a total height above the foundation of 602 feet. The maximum seasonal flood control storage space in Shasta Reservoir is 1.3 million acre-feet. Shasta Dam has a crest width of 30 feet and a length of about 3,500 feet. The Shasta Power Plant consists of five main generating units with a current capacity of 625 megawatts and two station service units with a current capacity of 5 megawatts. The capacity of the five main generating units, when upgrades are completed in 2007, will be 710 megawatts.

The Shasta Dam and Reservoir project was constructed by the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) as an integral element of the Central Valley Project (CVP) from 1938 to 1945 for six purposes. They include: irrigation water supply, municipal and industrial (M&I) water supply, flood control, hydropower generation, fish and wildlife conservation, and navigation. The project also supports vigorous water oriented recreation at the reservoir, which is located within the Shasta Unit of the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area.


US Bureau of Reclamation –