About the Project

View of rice fields with foothills rising in the distance

The North of Delta Offstream Storage (NODOS)/Sites Reservoir Project is a joint investigation between the Bureau of Reclamation and Sites Project Authority. The investigation is a collaborative effort to evaluate the feasibility of constructing Sites Reservoir, which could store 1.3 to 1.8 million acre feet of water and provide additional water supply for agriculture and municipal and industrial (M&I) purposes, Central Valley Project (CVP) operational flexibility, benefits to anadromous fish, Incremental Level 4 (IL4) water supply for Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) refuges, Delta ecosystem enhancement, flood damage reduction, and recreation.


The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) supplies water to more than twenty-three million water users in California. At the same time, the Delta provides essential habitat for a diverse array of fish and wildlife. There are many challenges in maintaining a balance between water use and the environmental including ecosystem restoration, water quality, and water supply reliability.

The NODOS Feasibility Study was authorized in 2003 in Public Law (P.L.) 108-7 to study potential off-stream water storage north of the confluence of the San Francisco Bay with the Delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers (Bay-Delta). Study authority was subsequently reiterated in the CALFED Bay-Delta Authorization Act of 2004. The CALFED study investigated and screened 52 potential surface water storage projects for their abilities to contribute to meeting goals. NODOS was identified as one of five alternatives that had compatibility with other goals. Further investigation supported the location of a reservoir in the Antelope Valley near the historic settlement of Sites, CA, in large part because this location had fewer direct environmental impacts compared with other locations.

Primary objectives of Sites Reservoir are:

  • Sites Reservoir would provide increased water supply and improve the reliability of water deliveries for environmental, municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses, especially during drought conditions.
  • Sites Reservoir Project would benefit anadromous fish (including endangered winter-run Chinook salmon) and other aquatic species by improving temperatures in the Sacramento, Feather, and American rivers.
  • Sites Reservoir Project would enhance the Delta ecosystem by providing water to convey food resources from the floodplain to the Delta, thereby improving the food chain and quality of the Delta’s estuarine habitat for use by Delta smelt and other species.
  • Sites Reservoir Project would provide additional water to relieve some of the existing operational constraints in the Central Valley Project (CVP) system and meet obligations under Federal and State law. This would include providing environmental benefits to anadromous fish, refuges, and water quality.

Secondary objectives of Sites Reservoir are:

  • Sites Reservoir Project would provide an opportunity to reduce flooding in local watersheds.
  • Recreation in the immediate vicinity of the Sites Reservoir would provide opportunities for hiking, fishing, camping, boating, and mountain biking.

Project Location:

  • Sites Reservoir would be located in Colusa County, 10 miles west of the city of Maxwell in California.

For more information on the project, read the fact sheet here:


Allison Jacobson
Project Manager
Phone: (916) 978-5075

Lisa Navarro
Public Affairs Specialist
Phone: (916) 978-5111



Last Updated: 10/31/22