Funding requested for Shasta Dam enlargement, Friant-Kern Canal, Delta Mendota Canal, and others
On Monday, Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Timothy Petty sent a letter to Marcy Kaptur, Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies, requesting $108.7 million in funding for surface water storage projects in California under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act of 2016.
The letter is the first step in obtaining the funding. Per the legislation, in order for surface water storage infrastructure projects to be funded under Section 4007 of the WIIN Act, the U.S. Department of the Interior must send Congress a letter requesting project funding by name and amount. Congress then must include these projects in the annual Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act in order to fund these projects.
Funding requests include $15 million for the Shasta Dam project, $71 million to fix the Friant-Kern Canal, $3 million to study subsidence on the Delta Mendota Canal, and $1.5 million for studies related to Del Puerto Water District’s proposed reservoir near Patterson, 7.8 million for Las Vequeros, $4 million for Sites Reservoir, as well as other studies. It is notable that Temperance Flat Reservoir is not listed among them.
Yesterday, Representatives Kevin McCarthy, Ken Calvert (CA-42), Paul Cook (CA-08), Mike Garcia (CA-25), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Tom McClintock (CA-04), and Devin Nunes (CA-22) issued the following statement:
“Water is the lifeblood that supports California’s families, small businesses, and agricultural producers. However, California’s last major reservoir was built over 40 years ago despite the state’s population doubling since then. This is simply not sustainable, and it’s clearer now more than ever that additional surface water storage in the state is necessary to maintaining our way of life.
“Prior to his election – and most recently during his visit to Bakersfield in February – President Trump recognized the importance of ensuring that our constituents get the water they contract and pay for, and the need for additional storage capacity to capture water during wet years for use in dry ones. That is why we want to commend him, Interior Secretary Bernhardt, and Reclamation Commissioner Burman for continuing to prioritize building new and expanding existing surface water storage facilities in California to help our state become drought resilient.
“Now, Congress must work expeditiously to incorporate these funding requests, including money for the Shasta Reservoir project, in the Fiscal Year 2021 Energy and Water appropriations bill. We call on California House Democrats to put politics aside and ensure that the very people they were elected to represent have access to water.”