Ducks Unlimited submits letter in support of Sites Reservoir

photo courtesy California Rice Commission.

California Congressmen John Garamendi (D-CA) and Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) recently introduced the Sites Reservoir Project Act (H.R.1435) to provide federal support for the construction of Sites Reservoir and related water infrastructure in Colusa and Glenn Counties.

“Construction of Sites Reservoir would bring California closer to achieving a drought-resilient water system. Our state needs to make forward-looking investments to meet its future water supply needs, and Sites will benefit farmers, precious ecosystems, and our communities,” said Congressman Garamendi in a press release.

Today, Ducks Unlimited joined California Waterfowl Association and Grasslands Water District in support of the Sites Reservoir Project Act through a public letter to Congressmen Garamendi and LaMalfa.

Dear Congressmen Garamendi and LaMalfa,

On behalf of the California Waterfowl Association’s (CWA) 20,000 members, Ducks Unlimited’s (DU) nearly 1 million members, and the Grassland Water District (GWD), we write in support of H.R. 1453, the Sites Reservoir Project Act. Sites Reservoir would create a more reliable water supply for waterfowl in the Sacramento Valley and throughout California, thus its completion is a priority for CWA, DU and GWD.

The State of California has shown strong support for the project by committing to an investment of $816 million from Proposition 1, based on the project’s public benefits, a large portion of which were for refuges. Additionally, the Bureau of Reclamation’s updated draft feasibility report notes that the project will provide a long-term average of 30,000 acre-feet of water to help deliver incremental Level 4 water supplies to National Wildlife Refuges north and south of the Delta.

Because of the significant decline in wetland habit in the Pacific Flyway, migrating waterfowl are heavily dependent on flooded rice fields as well as state and federal wildlife refuges for winter habitat in the Sacramento Valley. Sites Reservoir has the potential to offset some of the impacts to rice farmers, and subsequently waterfowl habitat, that could occur as a result of land fallowing proposals that are being considered under the State Water Resources Control Board’s Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan Update.

CWA, DU and GWD appreciate your continued support for this project and look forward to working with you to make it a reality