Members of California water and agricultural communities have been applauding a number of provisions related to water infrastructure within the omnibus funding bill President Trump recently signed into law.
More than $200 million in the bill will go to repairing parts of the Friant-Kern Canal. Friant Water Authority CEO Jason Phillips attributed the provision to the work of several California lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes and Senator Dianne Feinstein. Phillips said the funding allows the water agency to begin construction early this year.
About $8 million will support other canal repairs. That funding will help the Bureau of Reclamation recharge aquifers and help San Joaquin Valley communities comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
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The bill also allocates more than $13 million to constructing the Sites Reservoir in Northern California. Other provisions support drought resiliency for urban regions and ecological restoration projects. The bill also finances research into atmospheric rivers and snowpack surveys.
In a statement, Feinstein said this sort of support for modernizing water infrastructure “is one of the most important investments” for California’s future. “We have to do more to save water from the wet years to use in the dry years, and this bill moves us toward that goal,” she said.