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Why is the Shasta Dam so important?

Posted by Anonymous
  • 3 Replies

yep i need a answer some where from here or online which btw there is none. i googled it, my daughter googled it and there is nothing on the internet. it is for her social studies. We are on page 1 and there is nothing that talks about the Shasta Dam or the Panama canal. it is asking her why the shasta dam and panama canal are so important. How do i know, i mean we didnt study this in School. if we did i was not in the class for it . I am 29 years old and elementary school was back in late 80's and early 90's from los angeles california. we didnt do social studies in 3rd grade. Believe me when i say that..

i dont know how she can write that in a small sentence, there is nothing in her book called Scott Foresman history-social science for california our communities. its a brown orangy book.

Posted by Anonymous on Feb. 10, 2013 at 12:45 PM
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by CAFE SASSY HBIC on Feb. 10, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Shasta Dam:

In addition to flood control, Shasta Dam provides a clean, dependable water supply for 

irrigation, municipal and industrial use, wildlife habitat maintenance, navigating the 

Sacramento River and power generation that benefits millions of people miles away 

from the shores of Shasta Lake’s recreational paradise

Why Is the Panama Canal Important to the U.S. Economy?:

The Panama Canal connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, via the Caribbean Ocean. This is more complicated than just digging a long trench across the shortest point, the Isthmus of Panama. First, the sea level of the Caribbean is eight inches lower than the Pacific. Second, the different tides between the two oceans must be accounted for. Third, the Isthmus at Panama itself rises 26 meters above sea level.

To solve these problems, ships go through a series of three locks, which lift them up to Gatun Lake, and then lower them through three more locks back down to sea level. It takes, on average, 13 hours to move through the Canal's 51 mile length. Shipping through the Canal is still more cost effective than the alternative, which is shipping around the southern tip of South America. Therefore, the Panama Canal keeps the cost of imported goods down, helping to reduce inflation.

What Is the Panama Canal Expansion?:

The expansion of the Panama Canal will be complete by 2014. A new third lane will double the canal's capacity. It will accomodate Post-Panamax ships, which are 1,200 feet in length and carry three times the cargo of 965-feet-long Panamax ships.(Source: USA Today "Super-size container ships require larger locks," August 5, 2009)

Five ports carry 70% of U.S. ship imports: Los Angeles/Long Beach (LA/LB), New York/New Jersey (NY/NJ), Seattle/Tacoma, Savannah, and Oakland. All of these, and the port of Charleston, either already can or will be able to receive Post-Panamax ships by 2014. Traffic is expected to double to these ports by 2030. Expansion of the Panama Canal will help relieve the congestion to the U.S. transportation system by relieving congestion to the LA/LB port, which receives most of the traffic from Asia.

Panama Canal Only Handles 20% of U.S. Imports from China:

The fastest way to get cargo from China to the U.S. east coast is by ship (12.3 days for a ship to go from China to the U.S. west coast) and rail (6 days from the west coast the east coast) - a total of 18.3 days. For this reason, 75% of Asian imports go this way. Only 20% go through the Panama Canal because it's longer, at 21.6 days. The rest goes through the Suez Canal directly to the U.S. east coast, which takes 21 days. (Source: USDA, Impact of Panama Canal Expansion on the U.S. Intermodal System, January 2010)

Expansion Will Lower Shipping Costs:

However, rail doesn’t carry as much cargo as the Post-Panamax ships. One ship carries as much as 16 trains. That means the Panama Canal expansion will be more cost effective, even though it will still take longer. Therefore, it will probably be used by commodities exporters, that are more concerned with cost than time. High-value, time-sensitive goods, such as electronics, will still use West Coast ports and rail. Therefore, the Canal expansion could take another 35% of current West Coast freight.(Source: World Trade 100, "Trade in the Americas: Expanding the Panama Canal for the 21st Century," November 2, 2007)

Panama Canal History:

The French began building the canal in the late 1800s, but gave up when they ran out of money and lost too many workers to tropical diseases. In 1904, the U.S. bought the Canal Zone, paying $10 million to Panama and $40 million to the French. In 1914, the Panama Canal was completed, costing $375 million. The U.S. ran the Canal until 1999, when it turned it over to Panama.

(Source: USDA Panama Canal Study)

More on Post-Panamax Ships:

Post-Panamax ships carry 5,000-8,000 containers, have widths of 14 to 20 containers, and need a channel 17 meters deep. Super Post-Panamax vessels more than 9,000 containers. These ships carry 27% of the world's cargo.The Panama Canal must expand to accomodate these ships and remain competitive.

Proposed Panama Canal Alternative:

China has been negotiating with Colombia to finance a 250-mile railway linking its Pacific and Atlantic Coast. It would cost $8 billion, and include building a new port near Cartagena and upgrading an existing port in Buenaventura. Trade between the two countries has risen to $4.8 billion in 2010, and the two are looking to further their alliance. China has been unhappy with Panama's alliance with Taiwan. Colombia, though grateful for $8 billion in U.S. aid to successfully fight drug cartels, is tired of waiting for a stalled free trade agreement. (Source: Global Finance Magazine, March 2011) Updated Fbruary 5, 2013

by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Feb. 10, 2013 at 12:53 PM
2 moms liked this

thank you. and thank for not jumping down my throat for not knowing.

by Nikki on Feb. 10, 2013 at 12:59 PM
The dam mainly serves long-term water storage and flood control in its reservoir, Shasta Lake, and also generates hydroelectric power.
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 brought about major changes to the environment and ecology of the Sacramento River, and met with controversy over its significant destruction of Native American tribal lands.

Haven't you gone and taken a tour?
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