Bureau of Reclamation releases progress report on Sites Reservoir

Sites Reservoir

Click here for the progress report and other documents.

The Bureau of Reclamation has released a progress report on the North of the Delta Offstream Storage (NODOS), otherwise known as Sites Reservoir, which presents the results to date of the feasibility study.  The storage investigation, now in its third phase, is one of four authorized for study in 1996 during the CalFed era.

The proposed Sites Reservoir would be located in Northern California somewhat northeast of Clear Lake in Colusa and Glenn Counties, near the town of Maxwell.  The reservoir would be off-stream, with water from the Sacramento River delivered to the reservoir either through the construction of a pipeline or by the use of existing irrigation canals.

The study is evaluating reservoir sizes from 1.27 MAF to 1.8 MAF, with a preliminary analysis determining benefits to be from $248.8 to $276.2 million.  Those benefits include improving water supply and water supply reliability, providing water to benefit salmon and other fish species, producing hydropower, improving water quality and providing recreational opportunities. as well as providing supplemental Delta outflow during the summer and fall months,

The study is ongoing with several elements still to be completed, including additional engineering design, feasibility-level cost estimates, and an evaluation of how the potential implementation of new Delta conveyance would affect reservoir operations.  The upcoming report will consider alternatives to the size of the reservoir and conveyance system, as well as a no-project alternative.  Public comments are not being taken at this time; there will be an opportunity for public comment when the upcoming draft feasibility report is released.

You can find the report and other associated documents by clicking here.

3 Responses

  1. Bill Kier

    One can only wonder how long it will take the Bur Rec NODOS planners to introduce evaporation data into their project analysis. The proposed Paskenta-Newville Reservoir, that into which DWR planned to empty its Middle Fork Eel River water, was estimated to lose more than two meters a year to evaporation (the result not only of the Valley’s heat, but hot, dry winds off the back side of the Coast mountains as well), if memory serves, and with climate change one can only expect that evaporation rate to rise for the nearby Sites site.

  2. Bob Dean

    In addition to the question of evaporation, which I believe is critical, I have yet to hear or see any comments regarding the local environmental impacts and potential benefits. I only hear about the downstream benefits. Where is the Pacific Flyway in all this. What will the impacts or benefits be on local species and plants. What mitigations are being proposed for the loss of open space. Is the primary impact only to farmland or are wildlands impacted? There is no question about the necessity of developing a reliable supply of water but this effort, given the expense in all aspects of the bottom line has to be more than quid pro quo.


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