Wednesday June 7, 2023

The Appeal-Democrat

Sites Reservoir, which could provide 1.5 million acre-feet of additional water storage capacity, received a significant boost late last week when the Sites Project Authority was notified by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) that the reservoir’s water right application was deemed complete. 

Because of this action, the Sites Reservoir project is now able to move forward to the next step in the process of getting a new water right permit for the project. 

The project, which has been in the works for more than 60 years, hopes to turn the Sites Valley, located 10 miles west of Maxwell where Colusa and Glenn counties meet, into a state-of-the-art off-stream water storage facility that captures and stores stormwater flows in the Sacramento River – after all other water rights and regulatory requirements are met – for release in dry and critical years for environmental use and for communities, farms and businesses statewide to utilize when needed, the Appeal previously reported.

Once the Sites Project Authority receives a water right permit, it will give the Authority “legal authorization to divert water within certain conditions, for a specific purpose, and for use within a specified area,” Sites Project Authority officials said. As a result, the Sites Project Authority will be considered the state-designated steward of the water right for the Sites Reservoir project.

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