Sites Reservoir is not a 21st century water solution. It will add little water to California’s supply. And as proposed, it will not provide net environmental benefits. Our coalition elaborated on these claims, in depth, in our protest.
The real and potential harms that will be caused by Sites Reservoir include (non-exhaustive):
Impacts to water quality, such as increased levels of metals and heavy metals, increased levels of aqueous mercury (which climbs the food chain), formation of harmful algal blooms both in the reservoir area and the Bay-Delta due to flow reduction.
Extensive greenhouse gas emissions.
Fragmented and destroyed wildlife habitat in the project area, with impacts to the Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Burrowing Owl, Giant Gartner Snake, Foothill Yellow-legged Frog, Mountain Lions, American Badgers, Monarch Butterflies, native bees, native bats, and many other species.
Story from Friends of the River
Further peril for listed anadromous fish, including Spring-run Chinook Salmon, Winter-run Chinook Salmon, and Green Sturgeon.
Adverse effects on wetlands and riparian habitat downstream of the project along the Sacramento River and Bay-Delta, with impacts to a plethora of species including the Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Swainson’s Hawk, Bank Swallow, and Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle.
Adverse impacts on the nearly-extinct Delta Smelt.
Poor management of the Public Trust, and continued discriminatory practices in California water management, which has historically and methodically excluded tribes and disadvantaged communities.
Increased water prices, especially in times of shortage.
All this with a nearly $5 billion price tag. Ouch.