Press Release: Sites Reservoir Awarded Additional $205.6 Million in Federal Funding to Improve Western Water Infrastructure

By Sarah March 11, 2024

Sites Reservoir Awarded Additional $205.6 Million in Federal Funding
to Improve Western Water Infrastructure

Maxwell, CA – This week, Congress approved the Bureau of Reclamation’s recommendation to award the Sites Reservoir Project (Project) $205.6 million in federal funding federal funding from the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN Act), which provides grants to improve water infrastructure throughout the United States. This funding for Sites is the largest single WIIN Act award for a storage project in history.

“With the support of the Biden-Harris administration, Reclamation continues to make historic investments in Western water infrastructure projects like Sites Reservoir,” said Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton. “This project reaffirms Reclamation’s partnerships with the State of California and the Sites Project Authority, as well as our ongoing commitment to increase drought resiliency in California and across the West.”

Sites Reservoir will increase water supply throughout California and provide, for the first time, environmental benefits by storing water specifically to support native wildlife and their habitat during drought periods. The Project will provide an additional 1.5 million acre-feet of storage capacity, substantially improving the state’s water flexibility, reliability, and resiliency in drier years.

Last summer, Sites Reservoir was awarded $30 million in funding from the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. With this investment, the project has received $379.3 million from the WIIN Act and $60 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, for a total of $439.3 million in federal contributions to date. This amount covers the current estimated capital cost of the currently allocated 9% participation planned for Reclamation’s use.  The Authority will continue to work with Reclamation on achieving their 16% participation goal as space in the reservoir becomes available and more funds are appropriated to the project.

“Sites Reservoir would not be possible without the support of our federal partners, especially the Bureau of Reclamation, who share our commitment to increasing statewide water flexibility and reliability,” said Fritz Durst, Chairman of the Sites Project Authority. “Their continued investment builds on the momentum we’ve had this year and moves us one step closer to delivering these benefits to California’s farms, communities, and environment.”

Sites Reservoir has broad statewide support from cities, counties, water agencies, and irrigation districts throughout the Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley, Bay Area, and Southern California which are working together to advance the Project. The Project is locally led by the Sites Project Authority, which is made up Sacramento Valley water districts, cities, and counties.


“As California rebounds from years of historic megadrought, now is the time to invest in our infrastructure to ensure we are more resilient against future droughts. Congress and the federal government continue to step up and fund critical resilience projects like Sites Reservoir, which will increase our water storage capacity so we can take advantage of wet years, like we just experienced, for use in future droughts. Sites Reservoir is an important component of California’s diverse water supply strategy to bolster access to clean drinking water, provide certainty for farmers, and protect our imperiled fish and wildlife. I’m glad to have helped secure this critical funding.” – United States Senator Alex Padilla

“Obtaining $205 million in additional funding for the much-too-long awaited Sites Reservoir Project in this latest round of federal funding is another big win. Sites is a cost-effective project, has overwhelming public support, and is absolutely critical to securing the future of California’s water supply. Increasing water storage capacity is essential and common sense. The next drought will be even more painful than the last with expected draconian cuts to agriculture and rationing down to 42 gallons per person per household, all because we don’t store water as we could.” – Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)

“The inclusion of funding in the first set of government funding bills for the Sites Reservoir Project is a major victory toward increasing water storage in our region. I have long supported the Sites Reservoir project, and this funding is a great step forward as we work to improve statewide water access and support water security in our region.” – Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA)

“We have now secured more than $3 billion in federal financing to build the off-stream Sites Reservoir in addition to $875 million from the State Water Bond approved by California voters in 2014. With Governor Newsom’s designation last November of the Sites Reservoir Project as critical infrastructure, California is now on track to build the first major reservoir since 1999. It’s time to break ground on the Sites Reservoir Project, helping California realize a truly drought-resilient water supply as we face down the climate crisis.” – Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA).

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.