About Sites Reservoir
Why is “Off-stream” So Important?
Reservoirs of the past were built by damming across naturally flowing rivers to hold the water back, and drowning the river and its ecosystem in the process. Off-stream means that Sites Reservoir will not dam, or in any way impede any river or streambed. In fact, Sites Reservoir will provide dramatic benefits to the ecosystem.
In dry and critical years, Sites Reservoir will provide an additional 250,000 to 300,000 acre-feet of cold-water pools to help critically endangered salmon and improve water quality conditions.
Groundwater sustainability requires effective groundwater recharge. Sites Reservoir can help store and then move water where and when it’s needed for recharge projects.
Salmon need cold water to survive in the late summer and fall. If water for agriculture and Delta water quality came from Sites Reservoir, cold water pools in Shasta and Oroville could be preserved.
Sites Reservoir would increase Northern California’s water storage capacity by up to 15 percent.
Climate change is creating a new normal: less snow-pack and flashier rainfall. Sites Reservoir is ideally located to maximize the capture and storage of rain.
Sites Reservoir will enhance the state’s management system for maximizing the capture of flood flows while minimizing impacts to the region. Sites Reservoir will not be subject to traditional winter flood control releases, like Shasta and Oroville, which adds resiliency during long, dry periods that often follow a wet winter.