California Senator Dianne Feinstein has introduced a bill to boost the Western water supply and modernize infrastructure. Noticeably absent on the measure is Sen. Alex Padilla, while Sens. Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona joined as authors.
The bill, dubbed Support to Rehydrate the Environment, Agriculture and Municipalities, or STREAM, Act, would bolster several California water project proposals by authorizing $750 million for storage investments.
It would also offer $150 million in low-interest loans for water supply projects. Yet project proponents prefer grants, which would incentivize environmental and social benefits, according to the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA).
Other provisions include:
- $300 million for water recycling.
- $150 million for desalination.
- $100 million for drinking water for disadvantaged communities.
Several irrigation districts and farm groups support the measure, along with a couple conservation groups. ACWA Executive Director Dave Eggerton lauded the bill as “an every-tool-in-the-toolbox approach.”