Home News Ag Economics Trump Administration Advances Plan to Create New Water Storage in Northern California

Trump Administration Advances Plan to Create New Water Storage in Northern California

The Bureau of Reclamation today released the final feasibility report for the North-of-the-Delta Off-stream Storage Investigation. The report documents the potential costs and benefits of the Sites Reservoir Project. As part of a continuing effort to increase storage capability throughout California, Reclamation and the Sites Project Authority worked together to evaluate new off-stream surface water storage north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The Final Feasibility Report was transmitted to Congress on December 22.

Located 81 miles northwest of Sacramento, Sites Reservoir would store water diverted from the Sacramento River for future releases to beneficiaries throughout the state. The proposed project includes an off-stream reservoir located north-of-the Delta where the majority of California’s rainfall occurs.

“California is in dire need of additional storage, and projects like Sites Reservoir will provide operational flexibility and more reliable water delivery to benefit farms, communities, and the environment,” said Commissioner Brenda Burman. “The Sites Reservoir Project is an important opportunity for additional storage in northern California.”

The proposed reservoir would provide additional water supply for agriculture and municipal and industrial purposes, CVP-operational flexibility, anadromous fish benefits (migrating fish that return from the ocean to spawn), wildlife refuges, Delta ecosystem enhancement, flood damage reduction, and recreation.

“We are pleased to partner with Sites Project Authority on this unique off-stream storage project to create much needed water storage in California,” said Regional Director Ernest Conant. “The multi-beneficial Sites Reservoir would increase northern California’s water storage capacity by up to 15% and provide water supply, flood protection, environmental, and recreation benefits for generations to come.”

“Environmental water has always been at the heart of the Sites Reservoir Project,” said Fritz Durst, Sites Project Authority chairman. “Partnering with Reclamation will help restore flexibility, reliability, and resiliency to our statewide water supply – especially in dry years – and will create an environmental asset for the state by providing water and dedicated storage for environmental needs that do not currently exist.”

“We are grateful for the partnership with the Bureau of Reclamation on this one-of-a-kind water storage project,” said Sites Project Authority Vice Chairman Jeff Sutton. “Sites Reservoir will serve to greatly enhance the operational efficiency of our existing statewide water delivery system and significantly improve drought resiliency for our participating water agencies—who collectively represent over 24 million Californians and more than 500,000 acres of farmland from all parts of the state.”

The Sites Reservoir Project is a joint investigation between Reclamation and Sites Project Authority, authorized by Congress in 2003. The diversity of potential participants includes local, state, and federal interests as a collective of investors. As the project advances, it will be optimized for current conditions and affordability of all participants, while maintaining flexibility to adapt to changing conditions.

For additional information contact Project Manager Ryan Davis, Bureau of Reclamation, at 916-978-5083 (TTY 800- 877-8339) or rdavis@usbr.gov.

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