Statement: Federal Funding Supports California Water Projects
In November 2014, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 1, the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014. Voters approved this initiative, in large part, because they understood that the future of California depends on building new or enlarged water supply infrastructure, including surface storage projects. Last week, Congress passed, on a bipartisan basis, H.R. 1625, which included funding for the Shasta Reservoir Enlargement Project, Sites Reservoir, and Temperance Flat Dam. Members of Congress who advocated for these projects based their support on the same fact; the future of California depends on investing in new or enlarged water supply infrastructure.
“We are delighted that Congress included in this spending bill money for surface water storage projects,” said Cannon Michael, chairman of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority. “This action presents the opportunity for a brighter future for California’s residents, its farms, and the environment,” he said.
Language in the bill included funding to complete feasibility studies for Sites and Temperance Flat reservoirs as well as $20 million for design and pre-construction work on raising Shasta Dam. “Each one of these projects is needed for the future of California, and each project will provide water for both the environment and people,” Michael said. “Enlarging Shasta Dam will provide much needed flexibility to protect cold water for salmon that spawn below the Dam and water supplies for cities, refuges and farms throughout large areas of the State.”
“The flexibility created by increasing Shasta storage is essential for the Bureau of Reclamation to meet its obligations under federal law to operate the Central Valley Project for the benefit of the environment and people,” said Michael. “This is a goal supported over the years by both Democrats and Republicans, and we appreciate the leadership of members on both sides of the aisle on the critical issue.”