The Water Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved the feasibility of the Sites Reservoir Project proposal.

The Legislature requires the commission to assess if all projects appear feasible enough to meet the requirements outlined in the Prop. 1 water bond. This does not yet grant the Sites proposal bond funding, and it must still meet environmental and public engagement requirements.

Jerry Brown, the Sites Project Authority executive director (not the former governor), expects a final project determination around September 2022. The authority would then seek permits from fish and wildlife agencies, followed by a water right in 2023 and then bank financing. Brown hopes for construction to start in 2024 and finish in 2030.

“There’s a long road ahead for these projects before they’re even able to come back to the commission to talk about final funding awards,” said Amy Young, who manages water storage investment at the commission.

The commission also approved the feasibility of the Kern Fan Groundwater Storage Project, Pacheco Reservoir Expansion Project and Willow Springs Water Bank Conjunctive Use Project.