Sunset at B.F. Sisk

B.F. Sisk Dam and San Luis Reservoir

B.F. Sisk Dam and San Luis Reservoir, located on the west side of California’s Central Valley near Los Banos, are an integral part of the federal Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP). The dam, built between 1963 and 1967, is a 382-foot-high earthfill embankment over 3.5-miles long that impounds San Luis Reservoir, the largest offstream reservoir in the nation. The reservoir has a total capacity of more than 2 million acre-feet, which provides water for farms, communities, and wildlife refuges south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. B.F. Sisk, previously called San Luis Dam, is owned by the Bureau of Reclamation and operated by the California Department of Water Resources.

B.F. Sisk Dam Fast Facts

  • Built between 1963 and 1967
  • 382-foot-high earthfill dam
  • Over 3.5-miles long
  • Impounds the 2 million-acre-foot San Luis Reservoir
  • Critical for water supply for farms, communities, refuges south-of-Delta


Quote from john F. Kennedy: What this project symbolizes is the state working with the federal government; the local community working with the state. This program is unique

President John F. Kennedy's 1962 Groundbreaking Speech of the San Luis Reservoir in California

Ariel photo of San Luis Reservoir map of San Luis Reservior

San Luis Reservoir

Two major projects are currently underway at B.F. Sisk Dam: a dam safety project to improve the seismic reliability of B.F. Sisk Dam and a dam raise and reservoir expansion project to add 130,000 acre-feet of additional water storage.  Learn more below:

Ariel photo of constructiopn at San Luis

B.F. Sisk Dam Safety Modification Project

San Luuis Reservior and Dam

B.F. Sisk Dam Raise and Reservoir Expansion Project 

Last Updated: 10/5/23