Senate Panel Approves Legislation Sponsored by Senator Feinstein to Increase California’s Water Supply
Sep 11 2008
Washington, DC – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today approved three bills sponsored by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to help increase California’s water supply through recycling and conveyance projects:
- A bill to authorize the construction of pipelines to irrigate local vineyards with recycled water in Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties. The program will generate up to 30,000 acre-feet annually of reclaimed water for use on 42,238 acres of urban, environmental and agricultural lands requiring water for irrigation or ecological restoration for the region.
- A bill to authorize a new water supply project that would capture and store up to 40,000 acre feet of new water for Riverside County in California. This would provide additional water supply equivalent to the usage of approximately 320,000 people in the region.
- A bill to authorize two new water supply projects for the greater Los Angeles region, developed collectively by water districts in Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties. In total, the two projects authorized in this bill would increase the region’s water supply by 31,000 acre-feet per year, or the water needs for 64,000 households in the region, in an environmentally sustainable manner.
“California faces profound challenges in meeting our State’s future water supply needs,” Senator Feinstein. “The projects approved today by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will help communities across California increase their supplies of non-drinking water in an environmentally sustainable manner – all while helping to lower water costs, improve water reliability, and create new jobs. This is an important step in the right direction. And I thank Chairman Bingaman for his leadership and help in moving these bills forward.”
North Bay Water Reuse Program Act of 2007 (S.1472/H.R. 236)
This legislation would authorize the construction of pipelines to irrigate local vineyards with recycled water from five wastewater treatment facilities. And it would limit the federal cost-share for this phase of the project to $25 million or 25 percent of the total cost, whichever is less.
The Water Reuse Program will generate up to 30,000 acre-feet annually of reclaimed water for use on 42,238 acres of urban, environmental and agricultural lands requiring water for irrigation or ecological restoration. This includes:
- 1,800 acres for wetlands restoration in the Napa-Sonoma Marshes complex;
- 2,312 acres for urban landscaping in Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties;
- 4,757 acres for pasturelands in Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties;
- 2,924 acres for farmlands in Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties; and
- 30,445 acres for vineyards in Sonoma and Napa counties.
Representative Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) was the sponsor of companion legislation, which was approved by the House on December 5, 2007.
Riverside Corona Feeder Project (S. 1474/H.R. 1139)
This legislation would authorize a new water supply project that would capture and store up to 40,000 acre feet of new water for Riverside County in California. This would provide additional water supply equivalent to the usage of approximately 320,000 people in the region.
Specifically, the bill would authorize the Riverside-Corona Feeder project, which will be managed by the Western Municipal Water District. The legislation would limit the Federal cost-share for the project to 25 percent, and would cap federal expenditures at $26 million.
The project would allow locally stored water to replace the need to import water from Colorado River and State Water Project sources in times of drought or emergencies caused by catastrophic failure of imported water systems. The project proposes to manage the ground water levels by the construction of ground water wells and pumping capacity to deliver the pumped ground water supply to water users. A new water conveyance pipeline is also proposed that will serve western Riverside County. The project will include about 20 wells and 28 miles of pipeline.
A portion of the wells in the project could be placed within plumes of volatile organic compounds (or VOC’s) and perchlorate. These wells, in conjunction with treatment systems, would help clean up groundwater basins by removing contaminants from about 20,000 acre-feet of water per year.
The Riverside-Corona Feeder project is strongly supported by agencies upstream in San Bernardino County and downstream in Orange County. This bill is also supported by and fully consistent with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s Integrated Resource Plan, the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority’s Integrated Watershed Plan, and the regional water planning efforts for the cities of Riverside, Norco and Corona, as well as the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District and the Jurupa Community Services District..
Bipartisan companion legislation sponsored by Representative Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), together with Representatives Mary Bono (R-Calif.), David Dreier (R-Calif.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), and Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), was approved by the House on June 5, 2007.
Santa Ana River Water Supply Enhancement Act of 2008 (S. 2259/H.R. 813)
This legislation would authorize two new water supply projects for the greater Los Angeles region. The projects are part of a regional plan developed collectively by water districts in Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties.
In total, the two projects authorized in this bill would increase the region’s water supply by 31,000 acre-feet per year, or the water needs for 64,000 households in the region, in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Specifically, the bill will authorize two regional water supply and watershed projects in Southern California:
- Authorize $10 million for the design, planning and construction of a natural treatment systems and wetlands for the Santa Ana River.
- Authorize $26 million for the design, planning and construction of the Lower Chino Dairy Area desalination demonstration and reclamation project.
The bill sets the limit for the Federal share of the cost of the projects at 25 percent of the total cost of the project.
Companion legislation sponsored by Representative Gary Miller (R-Calif.) was approved by the House on October 22, 2007.
Additional California water bills approved today:
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee also approved several other water projects for California, supported by Senator Feinstein, including:
- A bill to authorize the construction of facilities to provide water for irrigation, municipal, domestic, military, and other uses from the Santa Margarita River. (H.R. 29)
- A bill to authorize the construction of recycled water distribution and wastewater treatment and reclamation facilities to treat wastewater and provide recycled water for the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District. (H.R. 31)
- A bill to authorize the design, planning, and construction of permanent facilities for the GREAT project to reclaim, reuse, and treat impaired waters in the area of Oxnard, California. (H.R. 1737)
- A bill to authorize a feasibility study to design and construct a four reservoir intertie system for the purposes of improving the water storage opportunities, water supply reliability, and water yield of San Vicente, El Capitan, Murray, and Loveland Reservoirs in San Diego County, California in consultation and cooperation with the City of San Diego and the Sweetwater Authority. (H.R. 1803)
- A bill to authorize two projects: (1) to treat impaired surface water, reclaim and reuse impaired groundwater, and provide brine disposal within the Santa Ana Watershed, in cooperation with the Yucaipa Valley Water District; and (2) a project to reclaim and reuse wastewater, including degraded groundwater, within and outside of the service area of the City of Corona Water Utility, in cooperation with the City of Corona Water Utility. Limits the federal share of each of the project costs to 25%. (H.R. 2614)
- A bill to convey a water distribution system to the Goleta Water District. (H.R. 3323)