On November 17, 2016, CSPA’s Water Rights Advocate Chris Shutes joined a panel discussion on the proposed Sites Reservoir. The panel was held at a conference in Chico produced by the north state non-profit AquAlliance, and also featured Jim Watson of the Sites Joint Authority and Steve Evans of Friends of the River.
If constructed, Sites would flood the Antelope Valley west of Colusa and would be filled with water diverted from the Sacramento River. CSPA’s presentation points out that many impacts of such a facility would depend on how it was operated, which is unknown at present. So although some of the advertised benefits could come to pass, it is also likely that the reservoir would worsen conditions for fish. At the top of the list of probable impacts is reduced outflow from the Delta: CSPA’s presentation shows that if both Sites Reservoir and the proposed Delta tunnels had been in place in 2016, up to half of the “excess” outflow from the Delta would never have reached San Francisco Bay.