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Press Release: Sites Reservoir Reaches Milestone in Environmental Review Process

Sites Reservoir Reaches Milestone in Environmental Review Process

SACRAMENTO, CA – The Sites Project Authority, as the lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act, has certified the Final Environmental Impact Report (Final EIR) and approved the Sites Reservoir Project (Project). This important milestone is the culmination of years of planning and a collaborative effort to increase the reliability of statewide water supplies for environmental, agricultural, and urban uses. With this certification, the Authority will be working to move the project forward through the final planning stages and on to construction.

“Over the last six years, we conducted one of the most comprehensive environmental analyses ever done for a water supply project to design a project that can meet the needs of California’s communities, farms, and environment,” said Fritz Durst, Chair of the Sites Project Authority Board of Directors. “Sites Reservoir is a new way of managing water designed to provide resiliency and reliability amid our changing climate.”

The Sites Reservoir Project would increase water supply throughout California and provide, for the first time, environmental benefits by storing water specifically for the environment to support native wildlife and their habitat during drought periods. The 1.5 million acre-foot, off-stream, water storage project is being advanced to increase California’s water and climate resiliency while also protecting and enhancing the environment.

“Sites Reservoir is truly a product of collaboration. The Project would not be possible without the support of our participants and government partners, who all recognize the unique benefits of Sites Reservoir,” said Jerry Brown, Executive Director of the Sites Project Authority. “During the multi-year environmental process, we also considered and incorporated feedback from a wide variety of stakeholders, and we have a better Project because of it. It’s allowed us to put forward a Project that is affordable, permittable, and buildable—one that will benefit all of California.”

The Final EIR, which was released as a joint Final EIR/Environmental Impact Statement with the Bureau of Reclamation as the lead federal agency, evaluates and describes the environmental effects and proposed mitigation measures associated with construction and operation of the Sites Reservoir Project. It includes updates to the Revised Draft Environmental Impact Report/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (RDEIR/SDEIS), released in 2021, to reflect changes to the Project and to address public comments received during the review period. The Final EIR contains revised modeling results due to changes in diversion criteria, however, no new or substantially greater impacts were identified with the addition of these refinements.

The Final EIR/EIS and information about the environmental review process can be found online at For questions about the Sites Reservoir Project, contact Alicia Forsythe, Sites Project Authority, at 916-880-0676 or

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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