Washington—The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power today held a hearing on two bills introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.): the STREAM Act and the Canal Conveyance Capacity Restoration Act.
High-resolution video of Senator Feinstein’s remarks is available here and a transcript follows:
“I want to make one point here today, it’s this: California, Arizona and other Western states cannot survive without improving our water infrastructure. I know that Senators Kelly and Sinema, my cosponsors on the STREAM Act, will agree with me.
And here’s the reason for the challenge: Scientists projects that with climate change, the Colorado River will lose one-third of its flow on average within a generation. That is more than 5 million acre-feet, or enough water for 30 million people. That would be gone.
Much of this water already has vanished, with Lake Powell and Lake Mead today at 25 percent and 30 percent of capacity, respectively.
So to avoid disaster, we need an all-of-the-above strategy. That means:
- funding water storage and conveyance where it’s feasible;
- more drought-resilient sources of water supply like recycling and desalination; and
- conservation and environmental restoration.
In combination with the bipartisan infrastructure law, the STREAM Act would help, providing more than 1 million additional acre-feet of water per year on average.
I believe that we have no choice – we need to make this investment. And so I ask unanimous consent that this stack of letters supporting this bill be introduced into the record.
Also before you today is the Canal Conveyance Capacity Restoration Act.
As the climate changes, California is projected to get a few intense rainstorms and long dry periods in between. We already saw that happen this winter with record rainstorms in the fall followed by record drought.
The canal bill would allow California to capture water during these big rainstorms and move it through restored canals to groundwater basins where it would be stored.
Again, this is an investment that we absolutely must make, one way or another. So please help us and thank you very much.”