Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth’s public finance department has been engaged to serve as bond counsel to the Sites Project Authority for the proposed Sites Reservoir Project. The proposed Project will consist of constructing a new 1.8 million acre-foot reservoir offstream of the Sacramento River, new ancillary facilities, and integrating with the existing Tehama-Colusa Canal and Glen-Colusa Irrigation District’s main canal. The Project will also provide electrical power through both conventional hydropower and pumped-storage that can integrate with renewable energy sources.
The Project’s direct construction is expected to cost approximately $3 billion (dollars in year 2015). Funding for the Project is expected to come from local, federal and state sources. The Authority is currently requesting $916 million in funding from the California Water Commission under its Water Shortage Investment Program funded by Proposition 1, which was approved by California voters in November 2014. The Authority is also exploring opportunities to enter into funding agreements with the United States Department of Agriculture, United State Bureau of Reclamation, as well as funding through the public capital markets.
The Authority is a joint exercise of powers authority formed on August 26, 2010, and is currently governed by a 13-member Board of Directors that includes several local water agencies and both Colusa and Glenn Counties. Further, the Authority is the lead agency working with 20 other local and regional stakeholders and water agencies located statewide to advance the construction of the Project, including the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Santa Clara Valley Water District and the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency. Of these entities, 27 have executed a separate participation agreement to fund the primary studies needed to develop a project that is eligible for both California Proposition 1 and Federal WIIN Act funding and can be permitted by state and federal resource agencies.