California to Fund Construction of First Reservoir in Four Decades

ResevoirThe California Water Commission was awarded $816 million of Proposition 1 money to begin building the $5.2 billion Sites Reservoir — the state’s first big reservoir since the 1970s.

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The $7.5 billion Proposition 1: Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 bond was passed on a bi-partisan basis with seven funding categories of spending, including $2.7 billion pre-allocated for water storage projects only.

The other $4.8 billion of Prop 1 voter-approved cash was allocated to protecting rivers; groundwater sustainability; drought preparedness; water recycling; safe drinking water; and flood management projects.

Although $1.1 billion had already been awarded for 673 projects by December 2017, nothing had yet been awarded for water storage, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

The California Water Commission’s failure to move forward to fund any of the 12 proposed major above-ground water storage projects in four years prompted huge complaints from Republicans.

Assembly Republican Leader Brian Dahle (R-Redding) walked into the commission’s February meeting pulling a children’s red wagon with 4,000 signatures on petitions to accelerate funding the Sites Reservoir north of Sacramento, and Temperance Flat in the San Joaquin Valley. Dahle told the commissioners, “Farmers like myself are concerned about the shortage of water – we’re seeing another drought cycle,” according to the Sacramento Bee.

The commission finally announced $1 billion in funding on July 23 to expand Pacheco Pass Reservoir in southeastern Santa Clara County and Los Vaqueros in Contra Costa County. Temperance Flat dam on the San Joaquin River did receive $171 million, but supporters complained that the grant would cover only 6 percent of the $2.7 billion cost.

The commission followed up on July 25 with an $816 million award to fund Sites Reservoir, which will divert water from the Sacramento River in the three rainiest months of the year to create a new lake up to 520 foot deep that could store 1.81 million acre feet of water.

The Bee reported that although the Sites project received Prop 1’s top funding, supporters were angry that that the commission cut their request by more than half. At a total cost of $5.2 billion, it is unclear that the water districts that could benefit from the project will be able to line up the other $4.4 billion to break ground on the project.

Environmentalists are expected to claim that the Sites Reservoir is a threat to the Sacramento River’s fish populations, and file lawsuits to delay the project.

This article was originally published by


  1. Screw the fish. People need the water

  2. “Unfortunately banning straws will not actually stop the CA democrat party from sucking!”

  3. Mr. Pickle says

    Ditto John below. This is a start, but NOT enough. But, as story indicates, the RADICAL and useless Enviro’s will do what they always do, sue to stop and delay the forward movement. For ONCE, I would like to see the Att Generals office FIGHT against these suits once and for all, up to the Supreme Court if needed, AND THEN, demand legal fee’s from the Enviro’s to pay the bills. NOT! This AG will roll over as usual……….. sue & settle and taxpayers will probably have to PAY the greenies as usual…………………………………… Grrrrrrrr

  4. How many Reservoirs could we have built, with money spent on the Moonbeam Express to nowhere?

  5. The Captive says

    How much “crap” will be imposed to either slow down the building or stop it all together because THERE IS NO ACCOUNTABILITY? We need to see the amount to be spent -what and where and when and thus get the bill that said project is in working order and paid for with our knowledge of the real receipts up on the PC screens around the state-This is not only GOOD BUSINESS but we will know what politicians are really doing or doing absolutely NOTHING!!!

  6. Damocles says

    Right idea wrong places . Just what is the problem with the locations of these reservoirs ? They are NOT being built in the regions that need the water. Again this plan is to decimate Northern California’s Sacramento River . What part of BUILD RESERVOIRS IN THE AREAS THEY ARE NEEDED DOES COMMUNIST CALIFORNIA NOT UNDERSTAND. Makes me think this is the ol rope a dope trick where certain people in government bought up a bunch of land just before the proposal to build a reservoir in that spot came out.
    I guess they are just going to continue to let all the water in Southern California run into the ocean and cause absolute ruin to 100s of 1000s of wetland acres , devastate all the businesses that depend on the delta and throw Northern California into economic ruin so the government employees can get even richer while the people are cast into ruin.

    • Christian says

      The democratic process seems to have broken down with the Water Board who is an unelected body that apparently supercedes the voter’s wishes.

  7. Dean Pearson says

    California has a serious water problem and as much as I would like to agree I live just south of Domenegoni resorvoir.
    It’s relatively new.
    I’m my opinion they keep water scarce so they can charge you a premium.
    Democrats for ya.


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