On Thursday, Dec. 8, the House of Representatives reached an agreement and passed the FY17 Water Resources Development Act. The landmark legislation provides funding for immediate measures and long-term solutions.
Once the bill is finalized and passed by the Senate, it goes to the White House for President Obama’s signature.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) released this statement following the bipartisan agreement:
After years of hard work with countless constituencies, Congress is ready to pass a California water deal. This legislation will bring more water to our communities and supports critical storage projects. It also provides resources for water desalination, conservation, efficiency, and recycling projects.
This is an important moment for California, and the timing of this deal is critical — we cannot afford to miss capturing water from storms during this wet season. The agreement could not have been finalized without Senator Dianne Feinstein, and I am proud to have worked with her on this legislation. Our work on California water is by no means complete, but this deal signals that there is a path to getting more done to restore California’s greatness.
The WRDA of 2016 authorizes 25 critical U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects in 17 states. The bill provides critical investment in the country’s aging drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, assists poor and disadvantaged communities in meeting public health standards under the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act, and promotes innovative technologies to address drought and other critical water resource needs.
“The five-year deal will safeguard North State water allocations, even during droughts, while also ensuring flows for those south of the Delta,” according to a statement issued by Vince Fong, State Assemblyman, 34th District. “Heavy flows that cannot be captured in winter months and currently wasted going out to sea will be transferred to users south of the Delta for storage.”
Assemblyman Devon Mathis of Visalia called the water deal a win-win.
“A combination of short-term improvements along with authorization for large storage projects, will help California better manage water now and in the future,” he said.