Congress focuses on dams amid California's drought

Federal lawmakers look to expand water storage in the state

WASHINGTON - California's drought is sparking a new push by federal lawmakers to expand water storage in the state.

Government agencies have been studying five major water storage projects for nearly two decades, with nothing to show for the effort so far.

But California's congressional delegation is providing a jumpstart.

Bills proposed in Congress would authorize a number of projects to expand or create reservoirs. Among the projects are raising the dam at Shasta Lake to store more water in California's largest reservoir.

California's growing population of 38 million residents is stretching the water storage and delivery system that was mostly completed in the 1960s.

The state just experienced one of its driest winters on record, forcing some communities to ration water and farmers to fallow thousands of acres.

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