Press Release: California Water Commission Issues Feasibility Determination for Sites Reservoir
California Water Commission Issues Feasibility Determination for Sites Reservoir
Sacramento, CA – The California Water Commission yesterday determined that Sites Reservoir will continue to be eligible for funding through the state’s Proposition 1 Water Storage Investment Program.
“The Water Commission’s decision is an important milestone for the Sites Reservoir project, for the environment, California farms and families,” said Fritz Durst, chairman of the Sites Project Authority.
Sites Reservoir is a unique water storage project because it will provide badly needed water for the environment during dry periods. The state’s investment in Sites represents the first time California has secured dedicated water for the environment through surface storage. The environmental water from Sites would be managed by state resource agencies to address critical environmental needs.
As climate change worsens and California experiences more rain and less snow, the need for Sites Reservoir increases. It will capture water from the Sacramento River when flows are high and store it for dry times when flows are lacking.
A draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement is currently available for public review and comment.
“While we are pleased with the outcome of the hearing, we are listening to the comments expressed by members of the public and hope to address concerns about the project. We remain committed to working collaboratively with any Californian that shares in the Authority’s mission to improve the state’s reliability and resiliency of water supplies,” said Jerry Brown, executive director of the Sites Project Authority.
Sites Reservoir is an off -stream facility that does not dam a major river system and would not block fish migration or spawning. Sites Reservoir captures and stores stormwater flows from the Sacramento River —after all other water rights and regulatory requirements are met—for release primarily in dry and critical years for environmental use and for California communities, farms, and businesses when it is so desperately needed. One of Sites Reservoir’s greatest strengths is in its broad statewide representation including cities, counties, water, and irrigation districts throughout the Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley, Bay Area, and Southern California.