BY DALE KASLER, The Sacramento Bee
April 20, 2018 11:12 AM
California took a big step Friday toward launching a new multibillion-dollar wave of reservoir construction.
After being accused of being overly tightfisted with taxpayer dollars, the California Water Commission released updated plans for allocating nearly $2.6 billion in bond funds approved by voters during the depths of the drought. The money will help fund eight reservoirs and other water-storage projects, including the sprawling Sites Reservoir in the Sacramento Valley and a small groundwater “bank” in south Sacramento County.
In its new blueprint, which remains tentative, the Water Commission nearly triples the amount of money it will spend compared to a preliminary allocation it put out in February.
With climate change expected to diminish the Sierra Nevada snowpack, the new reservoirs are seen as a way of bolstering California’s ability to store water. Sites, a $5.2 billion project straddling the Glenn-Colusa county line, and the $2.7 billion Temperance Flat reservoir east of Fresno would become the two largest reservoirs built in California since Jerry Brown’s first stint as governor in the 1970s.