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Sites Reservoir: Water for Dry Years

Sites Reservoir is a part of the solution.

Now more than ever, California needs innovative solutions to ensure we have a sustainable water supply. Our climate has changed, and we need more storage as the West gets drier and hotter to ensure we have enough water to meet our needs.

Sites Reservoir is a unique, multi-benefit water storage project that will capture and store water from major storms, so water is available to California’s communities, farms, and environment during dry periods.

The water that Californians use for drinking, recreating and protecting the environment moves through a system that is arguably the most complex in the world.

Sites Reservoir Benefits

  • Reliable dry-year water supply for California’s communities, farms and environment
  • Dedicated environmental water for native fish, migratory birds, and their habitats
  • Adaptable to climate change
  • Contribution to California’s renewable energy goals
  • Flood management 
  • Recreational opportunities
  • Job creation, including a large skilled workforce during construction

Sites Reservoir Fast Facts

Creates additional 1.5 million acre-foot off-stream storage for drier periods

Increases Sacramento Valley water storage capacity

Creates reliable supplies for environmental, agricultural, and municipal uses

30 participating agencies representing communities across California

A Part of the Sacramento Valley

Sites Reservoir would be located on the west side of the Sacramento Valley, near Maxwell, California – a rural farming town in Colusa County, approximately 65 miles northwest of Sacramento. The Sacramento Valley is known for its farming community, rich agricultural benefits, and natural beauty. The region’s acres of grassland surrounded by rolling foothills make it an ideal location for off-stream water storage. The proposal is widely supported by local community leaders, residents, as well as state water managers and water agencies from the Bay Area to Southern California.

 A 21st Century Water Storage System

Sites Reservoir is a water savings account for dry years. It would capture and store stormwater flows from the Sacramento River—after all other water rights and regulatory requirements are met—and release the water for California communities, farms, and environmental agencies to use when it is desperately needed.

Sites Reservoir complements other major reservoirs like Shasta, Oroville, and Folsom, which function as the backbone to both the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project. Sites Reservoir will help optimize water releases from this existing network, greatly increasing the flexibility, reliability and resiliency of statewide water supplies.

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Sites will be the first and only reservoir in California that captures and stores water specifically for the environment to support fish and their habitat during drought periods. It marks a big shift to prioritizing the environment in our water management. #BuildSitesNow
Sites Reservoir was awarded $67.5 million in federal funding from @usinterior as part of their efforts to add additional water storage capacity in the western region of the United States. This investment is another step closer to achieving our final funding goal, building this generational project, and providing significant benefits to California’s communities, farms, and environment.
#DidYouKnow: Sites Reservoir is the ONLY water storage facility that will benefit both the State Water Project and Central Valley Project.

Operating in coordination with Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville, Sites Reservoir will create a more flexible and reliable water supply.
Sites Reservoir’s 1.5 million acre-feet capacity is enough water to serve 7.5 million people for one year! 

This added storage capacity will provide California with a more flexible water supply amid our changing climate.
During California’s rainy season, we need to be able to capture and store water for future dry periods. If Sites Reservoir were operational today, it would be 100% full following the 2023-2024 storm season, providing an additional 1.5 million acre-feet of water for our participants to use when they need it. It’s time to #BuildSitesNow.
Sites Reservoir participants are public agencies that represent millions of Californians, thousands of acres of food-producing farmland, and federal and state agencies. 

Together, they’re working to increase California’s water supply resiliency while protecting and enhancing our environment. #BuildSitesNow
#DidYouKnow: Sites Reservoir will help maintain cold-water pools for salmon through exchanges with Lake Shasta, improving the conditions for fish in the upper Sacramento River. It provides flexibility, which can achieve multiple ecosystem objectives when actively managed.

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Sites will be the first and only reservoir in California that captures and stores water specifically for the environment to support fish and their habitat during drought periods. It marks a big shift to prioritizing the environment in our water management. #buildsitesnow ... See MoreSee Less

Sites will be the first and only reservoir in California that captures and stores water specifically for the environment to support fish and their habitat during drought periods. It marks a big shift to prioritizing the environment in our water management. #BuildSitesNow

5 CommentsComment on Facebook

How can you support the fish with this reservoir. It will heat the water up even more than it already is before you put it back in the river. Fish are already cooked. You can sell your bs all you want. This is for money……

Not sure if Sites Reservoir Project will be good for fish, but it sure will be good for our colony!! 🙌🏼

I admit I thought this was a good idea, now looking at it, it really does not solve much as the water we think we will have in the dry years to keep it up will not be behind Shasta as they will be dry as well and pumping water uphill is not really cost efficient, the Sacramento River can only afford so many straws taking water,

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