Coldstream Storage and Fire Storage Impoundment Project

The Sierra Valley Water Company operates and maintains a diversion dam and conveyance channel allowing water from the Little Truckee River to be diverted under specific conditions and during a specific season into the Feather River watershed (Sierra Valley). This inter-basin transfer allows water to be diverted for irrigation purposes in Sierra Valley (Sierra and Plumas Counties) between the months of March and September each year. While water is available as of March 15; peak irrigation need for this water and timing for optimizing the resource occurs later in the season. As a result; the water allotment is currently underutilized due to timing.

The concept is consideration of an earthen dam located in a feasible location within the Coldstream drainage south of Sierraville to store agricultural water enabling better utilization and more efficient use of available supplies; provide flood control and water storage for fire suppression that is accessible; functional and reliable. Also included within the concept for consideration is a small hydro electric plant. Limited recreational opportunities may occur but the first phase of this undertaking is a technical feasibility study. This phase will identify engineering and geotechnical findings; mapping and soil/water conditions; biological conditions; and issues of concern to the consideration of future phasing of the project.
Sponsoring Agency
Sierra Valley Resource Conservation District
Primary Contact
Jeff Carmichael
Contact Email
Project Number
Matching Funds
None listed
Total Cost
DAC Benefit
Supplemental Information
This proposed storage reservoir or impoundment addresses all of the approved goals of the IRWMP Management Group in that it can improve water quality and water supply availability; it can protect and improve the health of the environment through more consistent and sustained flows to support existing wetlands and ecosystems through timed and controlled release of available water supply; It would also provide fire storage of water enabling fire suppression efforts to contain local wildfires early preventing catastrophic events such as the cottonwood fire of 1994 and many others since; it can promote the economic conditions of the region by providing additional water storage for agricultural operations and for limited recreational opportunities; and it has direct correlation to preserving working landscapes in Sierra Valley. Correlation to the IRWM Objectives include: 2; 3; 4; 13; 14; 16; 17; 18. Resource Management Strategies 1; 3; 8; 13; 24; and 26 are all well-served by this proposed project.
DWR Resource Management Strategies
Agricultural land stewardship, Agricultural Water Use Efficiency, Conjunctive management, Conveyance - regional/local, Economic incentives, Ecosystem restoration, Flood management, Forest management, Groundwater remediation/aquifer remediation, Land use planning and management, Matching water quality to water use, Outreach and engagement, Pollution prevention, Recharge area protection, Sediment management, Surface storage - regional/local, Wastewater/NPDES, Water and culture, Water transfers, Water-dependent recreation, Watershed management
Project Objectives
Address economic challenges of agricultural producers, Build communication and collaboration among water resources stakeholders, Coordinate management of recharge areas and protect groundwater, Effectively address climate change adaptation and/or mitigation in water resources management, Enhance public awareness and understanding of water management issues and needs, Improve coordination of land use and water resources planning, Improve efficiency and reliability of water supply and infrastructure, Maximize agricultural, environmental, and municipal water use efficiency, Protect, restore, and enhance the quality of surface and groundwater resources, Reduce potential for catastrophic wildland fires in the region, Work with counties/communities/groups to maintain capacity for water-related projects, Work with DWR to develop strategies and actions for the operation of SWP facilities
Project Status
Potential Benefits
Assist the region in adapting to effects of climate change, Disadvantaged Communities, Drought Preparedness, Generation or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. green technology)
Project Owner

To the owner of Coldstream Storage and Fire Storage Impoundment Project

1 resource

  • ALS-11 1 file Added 27 Aug 2016 Coldstream agriculture and fire storage impoundment