Sites Reservoir Receives $30 Million Boost

In a significant development for water resources in Northern California, Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, unveiled the allocation of $30 million to the Sites Reservoir project from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Recognizing the importance of reliable water sources, Rep. Thompson emphasized that the funding for Sites will aid families, farmers, and communities in combating drought and leading healthy lives.

Sites Reservoir, situated in the Coast Range mountains west of Maxwell, is set to benefit from the $30 million allocation to pursue an off-stream storage facility with the capacity for up to 1.5 million acre-feet of water in the Sacramento River system. The reservoir will utilize both new and existing facilities to manage water inflow and outflow. The ultimate release of water will be directed to the Sacramento River system through a combination of existing canals, a new pipeline near Dunnigan, and the Colusa Basin Drain.

Rep. Thompson’s history with the Sites Reservoir project runs deep. During his time in the state Senate, he played a crucial role in appropriating the initial funds for the reservoir, making this funding allocation a significant milestone in advancing the project.

The reservoir is still nearly a decade away, with water rights acquisition, permitting, and environmental review ongoing. Construction, which includes two large dams, is set to begin in 2024, though it may be delayed by a year. The project is expected to be completed by 2030 or 2031.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, with a total investment of $8.3 billion over five years, prioritizes water infrastructure projects that encompass water purification and reuse, water storage and conveyance, desalination, and dam safety. Additionally, the Inflation Reduction Act allocates an extra $4.6 billion to address the pressing challenges posed by the historic drought.

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