Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Farm Bureau takes a look at Sites Reservoir proposal

The California Farm Bureau Federation's AgAlert is doing a three-part series on water projects applying for Proposition 1 funds. This week, reporter Christine Souza highlights the planned Sites Reservoir. She writes:
In the middle of a severe drought in November 2014, California voters approved Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion water bond that set aside $2.7 billion for the public benefits of new water storage projects. Now, project proponents have less than two months to finalize applications for bond funds, which can be used for attributes such as ecosystem improvements, water quality improvements, flood control, emergency response and recreation.

Among the projects competing for bond funding is the proposed Sites Reservoir, an offstream storage project that has been studied for close to 40 years. To be located west of Maxwell in Colusa and Glenn counties, Sites would provide a storage capacity of 1.8 million acre-feet of water and an annual yield of 500,000 acre-feet—additional surface water for cities, farms and the environment that proponents say would also help relieve pressure on groundwater. It carries an estimated construction cost of $4.4 billion.

Project proponents say Sites Reservoir offers a number of advantages.

"Sites Reservoir is well placed to provide significant benefits both to the Sacramento Valley in terms of our agriculture economy, as well as provide public benefits to the fisheries such as to the Sacramento River for our four runs of salmon and water for wildlife and birds in the Pacific Flyway," said Thad Bettner, general manager for the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District.
Her full story is here.

Here is my latest update on the state's process for vetting proposed water bond projects.

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