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Sites Reservoir team discusses hopes and hurdles

A photo of the proposed site for the Sites Reservoir, located in Glenn and Colusa Counties. (Sites Reservoir){p}{/p}
A photo of the proposed site for the Sites Reservoir, located in Glenn and Colusa Counties. (Sites Reservoir)

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Water availability has become a critical issue in the face of ongoing drought, and one prominent potential solution remains elusive.

The proposed sites reservoir in Glenn and Colusa counties was first envisioned in the 1980s, but has yet to become a reality despite bipartisan support. Executive Director of the Sites Project Authority Jerry Brown described the critical junction the project is at now, with the upcoming completion of environmental studies as well as a vital application process.


“Another key element that's in play right now is the application for a new water right. All of the water that will be stored in Sites will be Sites water under this new water right, and so we have to go through a process with the state Water Resource Control Board and we initiated that process last May and they provided us with some questions and requests for additional information. We've responded to that and now just recently and we expect to hear back from them very shortly that they should be accepting our application.”

With decades of planning and no physical results to date, I asked Jerry if there's anything he wants people to know about the project and where it stands in 2023.

"Just that, if at anytime over the last 30 or 40 years that you referenced in terms of how long it's taken, we've never been at the place we're at right now and never have had the momentum and the lineup of all the elements that are necessary to move forward. And I can say quite confidently, that we need this reservoir that that the last couple of years have done a lot to reflect that need for a lot more people, and so folks can really see. And we have some committed, committed folks that are really ready to move forward. This is both at the local, state and federal level. And I'd say with those things that we're better positioned now than ever before to actually get this thing in the ground and get it rolling."

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