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April 2007


California’s water issues have moved to the forefront as our Governor and Legislatures have began to focus on improving surface storage in the state. In January, Governor Sites Reservoir LocationArnold Schwarzenegger proposed a $4.5 billion dollar bond to build a comprehensive system for storage and conveyance of water through California.  The two proposed water storage sites are Temperance Flat in Fresno County and Sites Reservoir in Colusa County. 

Water storage has received a lot of attention lately and the Association of California Water Agencies Board members recently attended a tour of the proposed Sites Reservoir location. Water agencies from all over the state, legislative staff, and Assemblymember Doug LaMalfaFWA joins ACWA tour of proposed Sites Reservoir location in March 2007. were excited to see where Sites Reservoir would be located. It was with great pleasure that Family Water Alliance attended this tour and that we were able to answer questions regarding surface water storage and show our local support for this project. "With California’s booming population, and with the impact that global warming will cause to our snowpacks, we need FWA's Executive Director talks Sites Reservoir with (L to R): Randy Fiorini, ACWA President; Mary Wells, NCWA; Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa; Ashley; and Glen Peterson, ACWA VP.more infrastructure, a wide-ranging water storage and delivery system, including above-ground facilities,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “This funding is critical to upgrade our water infrastructure so the next generation of Californians is not faced with a shortage of this precious resource. We need a modern, comprehensive approach to addressing our growing water needs that includes storage, conveyance and conservation.” 

The bond will include the following and be on the 2008 ballot:

  • $1 billion (general obligation bonds) for Delta sustainability to fund two projects that improve water quality, restore ecosystem health, and reduce the seismic risk to Delta water supplies.
  • $250 million (general obligation bonds) for water resources stewardship that includes restoration activity on the Klamath River; funds for restoration of the Salton Sea, and funding for areas of the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers and portions of the Delta.
  • $200 million for water conservation projects that will yield 200,000 acre-feet annually.

Senate Bill 59, The Reliable Water Bond Act of 2008, is the legislation that will provide the funding to build two water storage facilities in the state. The Governor has held news conferences that show his support for SB 59. This is the opportunity we have been waiting for to make Sites Reservoir a reality. ■

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