California's water infrastructure is stressed beyond its capabilities. Our demands for water to serve our communities, fuel our economy, and preserve our environment have increased far beyond what the system was designed to reliably and sustainably support.
As we experienced in the 2012-2016 drought, the current water management system is not able to manage future conditions without severe consequences to our communities, families, farms, businesses, and the environment. Reliable dry year water supply is critical to creating a resilient future for California.
Sites Reservoir is a vital part of the solution to improving dry year water supply for generations to come.
How Sites Reservoir will provide a solution
Sites Reservoir will significantly improve the state’s water management system in drier periods and restore much-needed flexibility and reliability that has been lost in the system. Located 10 miles west of the town of Maxwell in rural Glenn and Colusa counties, Sites Reservoir is an offstream storage facility that captures and stores stormwater flows from the Sacramento River for release in dry and critical years.
When operating, Sites Reservoir will become a new drought management tool providing significantly more water during drier periods. Sites Reservoir will be one of the state's largest reservoirs, and will add flexibility to California's water infrastructure by providing up to 1.5 million acre-feet of water storage capacity.
When operated in conjunction with other Northern California reservoirs, such as Shasta, Oroville, and Folsom that function as the backbone to both the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project, Sites
Reservoir will greatly increase the flexibility, reliability and resiliency of statewide water supply in drier years for environmental, agricultural, and urban uses. A portion of Sites Reservoirs annual water supplies will be provided for environmental flows to help improve conditions for Delta smelt; help preserve the coldwater pools in Shasta Lake later into the summer months to support salmon development, spawning, and rearing; and improve Pacific Flyway habitat for migratory birds and other native species.
Sites Reservoir will benefit the local and regional economy by creating hundreds of construction-related jobs during each year of the construction period, and long-term jobs related to operations and recreation. Simply put, Sites Reservoir can significantly improve the state’s existing water management system in drier years and restore the much-needed flexibility that has been lost. The time is right to build on our momentum and growing support to ensure Sites Reservoir gets across the finish line before the next drought.
Valley District's Connection to the Sites Reservoir Project
Valley District is a partner on the Sites Reservoir Project. The District is engaged in the development of the Sites Project itself as well as has committed funding to ensuring this valuable water supply is available to Valley District, via the State Water Project, in the future.
For more information, visit SitesProject.org. Click here to view the 2019 Sites Project Authority Annual Report.