Water & Drought

These Sacramento area water storage projects just got a boost in state bond money

Two water-storage projects in the Sacramento region are closer to becoming a reality after getting another bump in state bond funding.

The California Water Commission announced Friday that the Sites Reservoir project was eligible for $1 billion in Proposition 1 funds, up from $933 million the commission had said it might receive last month. It's the most money tentatively awarded to any of the 11 projects that have applied for Prop. 1 funds.

If completed, the project near Williams along the Glenn-Colusa county line would store water piped in from the Sacramento River. Sites would have nearly twice the storage capacity of Folsom Lake, making it the state's seventh largest reservoir.

Sites is supported by a wide array of water districts across the state. They will pay the rest of the reservoir’s $5.2 billion costs.

The commission also signaled more support for a small groundwater storage proposed by the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District. On Friday, the commission said the water "bank" is tentatively eligible for $280.5 million, up slightly from the $244 million allocation awarded last month.

In 2014, during the worst of California's historic five-year drought, voters authorized $2.7 billion in spending on water storage projects, but the pot shrinks to just under $2.6 billion because of bond-finance costs and other expenses.

The Water Commission will make a final decision this summer on how the funds are spent.

Ryan Sabalow: 916-321-1264, @ryansabalow
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