Monday February 27, 2023


Last century, California built dozens of large dams, creating the elaborate reservoir system that supplies the bulk of the state’s drinking and irrigation water. Now state officials and supporters are ready to build the next one.

The Sites Reservoir — planned in a remote corner of the western Sacramento Valley for at least 40 years — has been gaining steam and support since 2014, when voters approved Prop. 1, a water bond that authorized $2.7 billion for new storage projects. 

Still, Sites Reservoir remains almost a decade away: Acquisition of water rights, permitting and environmental review are still in the works. Kickoff of construction, which includes two large dams, had been scheduled for 2024, but likely will be delayed another year. Completion is expected in 2030 or 2031.

Sites Reservoir would store as much as 1.5 million acre-feet of Sacramento River water and could eventually boost water supplies — especially in dry years — for more than 24 million people, mostly in Southern California, and 500,000 acres of Central Valley farmland. The reservoir is now projected to cost $4.4 billion, with Prop. 1 covering up to $875 million and much of the rest coming from federal loans to water suppliers.

Read more >

Link copied successfully