WASHINGTON, March 20, 2014 – Two bipartisan lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday that would authorize a feasibility study and construction of a water storage reservoir in Northern California.

Reps. John Garamendi, D-Calif., and Doug LaMalfa, D-Calif., introduced the Sacramento Valley Water Storage and Restoration Act, which would create a process to allow a non-federal sponsor to develop the project. Once completed, lawmakers said the reservoir would provide 1.9 million acre feet of water storage capacity and would help residents prepare for droughts like the one currently impacting the state.

The bill was developed with local stakeholders and a regional consortium of local water agencies and counties who joined together in 2010 to advocate for the project. 

“The devastation of the drought has highlighted the need for additional water storage,” Garamendi said. “We must heed the warning of the book of Genesis: stock up during the years of plenty, so that you can get by in the years of need.”

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor, released today, found that the recent precipitation in the state did not help against the historic drought in that state. In fact, more than 70 percent of the state fell into the extreme or exceptional drought category. Last week, about 65 percent was designated as under extreme or exceptional drought.

“The benefits of the February and early-March precipitation rapidly diminished across California and the Southwest as unseasonable warmth and dryness increased water demands and depleted snowpacks,” according to the report.


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