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Press Release: Real-Time Conditions Show Sites Reservoir Would Be 100% Full at Close of 23-24 Wet Season

Real-Time Conditions Show Sites Reservoir Would Be 100% Full at Close of 23-24 Wet Season

Sites would be completely filled to 1.5 million acre-feet of water over the past 2 years if it was operational today

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The Sites Project Authority (Authority) announced that at the close of this storm season, Sites Reservoir could have captured in excess of 1.5 million acre-feet of water from early 2023 through April 2024. Based on an analysis of 2023 flows and significant storms this year, it is estimated that Sites Reservoir would be at full capacity today.

“We’re seeing that Sites would perform as expected during these wet years, saving us much needed new water supply for the dry years,” said Fritz Durst, Chair of the Sites Project Authority Board of Directors. “If Sites were operational today, the project beneficiaries would be heading into summer with additional stored water that they could manage and use when they need it. Having that extra savings account can make a huge difference during dry years that we know are coming.”

Sites Reservoir is specifically designed to capture and store water generated during wet periods, like the atmospheric rivers that seasonally make landfall in California, to increase water flexibility, reliability, and resiliency in drier years. Estimates show that since January 2024, Sites Reservoir would have diverted and captured about 840,000 acre-feet of water. This would have been in addition to the about 700,000 acre-feet diverted and captured last year, resulting in a full reservoir headed into this summer. A single acre-foot of water is enough to exceed the average annual indoor and outdoor water use of one to two California households, according to the Water Education Foundation. The analysis shows that Sites could be filled by safely and protectively diverting a relatively a small portion of Delta outflow, leaving a significant amount of water in the Sacramento River, which then flows into the Delta and serves environmental and other purposes.

“The computer simulations we are able to run on the current, real-world conditions show that Sites will increase water reliability for California and help address the challenges of climate change,” added Durst. “We have some big milestones coming over the next year, and we are getting closer to putting shovels in the ground to build this generational project.”

Sites is an off-stream reservoir proposed north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, where it would provide unique water supply and environmental benefits during dry periods, especially during extended drought. Additional information can be found at or on Facebook and Twitter at @SitesProject.

Download a PDF of this news release here.


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