Action Alert: Tell CA Water Commission to pull Sites Reservoir funding

  • Published on July 13th, 2020
The Sites Reservoir is a potential large new reservoir on 14,000 acres approx. 80 miles northwest of Sacramento. As currently proposed, the $4.7 billion project would create new water diversions from the Sacramento River and would increase pressure to divert water from the Trinity River, in order to store and transport water for industrial agriculture and urban use in Southern California and the Central Valley.
Proposed Sites Reservoir Project
Proposed Sites Reservoir Project
By Dan Bacher

Holding up to 1.8 million acre feet of water, the reservoir would be almost half the size of the Shasta Reservoir and twice the size of the Folsom Reservoir.

BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

The diversions created by the Sites Reservoir Project would allow more water to be diverted from the Bay Delta and the Trinity and Sacramento River systems. The reservoir would be used to store water that could be transported through the Delta Tunnel.

During especially dry years, the Sites Reservoir diversions would be able to take more than half of the Sacramento River’s flow—well below minimum flows recommended by the state.

Diversions, construction, and reduced and altered flows would further threaten endangered salmon, land and river ecosystems, and water quality throughout the region.

Hydrological reports show that the diversions would increase temperatures in the Trinity River, posing further risk to already devastated salmon populations. Moreover, it would take water from the Trinity and Sacramento Rivers at times when salmon need it most.

TELL CALIFORNIA: NO SITES RESERVOIR

The Sites Project Authority has not responded to requests to re-do their environmental documents and address County and Tribal water rights in order to protect the Trinity River. The Sites Project Authority has also not responded to requests to protect bypass flows for fish and water quality on the Sacramento River, or to change the project to stop impacts to the Klamath and Trinity Rivers.

The Sites Authority should not get any state or federal funding until they guarantee they will protect salmon and water quality in the Sacramento and Trinity Rivers and Bay Delta. They also should not be granted extensions or relief from regulatory requirements, as they have requested.

The Sites Reservoir Project does not currently include protections for the Trinity River or Sacramento River salmon, and does not include protections for Tribes and fishermen that depend on them.

CALL TO ACTION: JOIN US ON JULY 15, 9.30 AM

On Wednesday July 15, starting at 9.30 am, the California Water Commission will be providing updates about the project and will be hearing public testimony about a proposal to let projects like the Sites Reservoir, which received $816 million from taxpayers, to change funding requirements.
The meeting will be broadcast live at:
https://youtu.be/OSpKolKZUco
You can participate, hear updates, and have your testimony heard at:
https://ca-watergov.zoom.us/j/92767339854
Call and have your testimony heard at:
(214) 765-0479
(888) 278-0296 (U.S. toll free)
Conference code: 596019
More information can be found at: https://cwc.ca.gov/
Or for more information contact Regina at Save California Salmon at: regina@californasalmon.org

Help us tell the California Water Commission and Governor Newsom that promoting the Sites Reservoir ignores the science, endangers salmon, and violates the fishing and water rights of Northern California’s Tribes

About the Author

Dan Bacher is an environmental journalist in Sacramento who focuses on California's water issues, a healthy environment for the salmon fishery of the Northwest, and the attempts by big agriculture and big oil to hog all the water.

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