Thursday May 30, 2024

Porterville Recorder

The Sites Project Authority, which oversees the development of the Sites Reservoir, announced if it was operational the 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’s 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 Sites Project Authority Board chair Fritz Durst. “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.” 

Estimates show 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 the 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, the Water Education Foundation stated. 

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