Officials Celebrate Numerous Milestones for California's Sites Reservoir
SACRAMENTO, CA - State and local elected officials, ag industry members, and managers of regional water, labor, and business gathered to mark several milestones in California’s Sites Reservoir water storage project.
“Sites is a local project with statewide benefits,” said Kim Dolbow Vann, Colusa County Supervisor and the Sites Project Authority’s Chair, according to news source Daily Democrat. “The project will be owned, managed, and operated locally, but in a way that integrates with—and relieves stress on—the state’s burdened water system.”
Milestones the group gathered to honor included:
- AB 2551 signed into law, giving flexibility in construction methods to help ensure the project gets done on time and on budget.
- Some 34 agencies now participating in the project.
- Sites Project moving into a new office in Maxwell, near where the reservoir would be built.
Republican Senator Jim Nielsen, a co-author of AB 2551, said that many worked hard to write and pass the Proposition 1 Water Bond.
“The people are promised the first significant surface water storage since the State Water Project was initiated with the building of the Oroville Dam and conveyance systems,” Nielsen continued. “Now we can take the next step to assure an ample and quality supply of water for the generations to come by building Sites Reservoir.”
Only about 500,000 acre-feet of water held in the reservoir is expected to be available for use, the report noted, with rules of the bond mandating half the water go towards public benefits like the environment, recreation, and flood control.
“Family Water Alliance, Inc. and their Sacramento Valley Fish Screen Program have worked to protect and save California fish species for over 20 years,” said Nadine Bailey with Family Water Alliance. “Our organization supports the Sites Project because it is a solution that will protect California family farms and our fishery resources.”
About 250,000 acre-feet of water will be available for investors, and Sacramento Valley has already signed on to purchase about 128,000 acre-feet of water annually for its water districts.
Investors have been asked to offer upwards of $60 per acre-foot of water they pledge to receive in order to move the project forward, with a deadline in place to ask the state Water Commission to pay half the estimated construction cost of $4.4 billion by June of 2017.
Jim Watson, manager of the Sites JPA, told the source it will provide that request once the Water Commission has made some important decisions this coming December.