Sen. Nielsen Bill Seeks to Help Sites Reservoir Project

State Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Red Bluff, and Sen. Andreas Borgeas, R-Fresno, introduced a bill last week that would have a significant impact on the Sites Reservoir project in Colusa County.

The bill, Senate Bill 890, is meant to ensure millions of acre-feet of water is stored during wet years instead of being flushed out to sea, a release from California Senate Republicans said.

Sites Reservoir is an off-stream facility proposed north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that captures storm water flows from the Sacramento River for release primarily in dry and critical years, the Appeal previously reported.

Opinion: Voter-Approved California Water Projects Are Making Progress

In November 2014, California voters approved Proposition 1: The Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act. The $7.5 billion bond dedicated $2.7 billion for the public benefits of new water-storage projects. Some ask, “Why have no new reservoirs been built in the seven years since?” Rest assured, there are projects in the works. All recently passed a key milestone and are moving forward.

Any large-scale water storage project is complex and requires a high degree of planning, engineering, coordination and significant financing. The California Water Commission has actively overseen the proposed projects over the past six years to help ensure they meet statutory requirements, progress at the rate dictated by the bond legislation and meet the public benefits promised to voters.