On February 21, 2018 Republican members of the California Legislature delivered a wagon-load of petitions to the California Water Commission calling for the immediate approval of funding for Sites and Temperance Flat reservoirs. The more than 4,000 petitions were signed by Californians from all corners of the state in response to recent reports that the commission is blocking the construction of badly needed surface water storage, even as another drought is looming.
“Four years ago, California voters overwhelmingly approved a $7 billion water bond on the promise of new surface storage projects,” said Assembly Republican Leader Brian Dahle (Bieber). “Our government has made a habit of selling the voters a false bill of goods. It is long past time that our government starts keeping its promises.”
In 2014, Californians approved Proposition 1, a water bond that included $2.7 billion for investments in new reservoirs. The proposition tasked the California Water Commission with allocating the storage funding. Recently, the commission issued a report that could jeopardize the funding for important storage projects like Sites Reservoir and Temperance Flat.
“The lack of urgency from bureaucrats at the water commission is putting Californians’ livelihoods in danger,” said Assemblyman Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals) in a recent Sacramento Bee op-ed. “If we are hit with another drought, the commission will be responsible.”
If built, Temperance Flat Reservoir could hold 423 billion gallons of water northeast of Fresno. Sites Reservoir could hold 586 billion gallons in Colusa County.