Costa Applauds House and Senate Passage of Water Infrastructure Bills

Sep 28, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement after the House passed the Water Resources Development Act (H.R. 5303) to complete water infrastructure projects in California and throughout the United States. On September 15, the Senate passed a similar version of the legislation, S. 2848. 

“The Water Resources Development Act has big wins for California and specifically, in the San Joaquin Valley, there are important water projects that will finally move forward if this legislation becomes law,” said Rep. Costa. “In addition to language that authorizes a feasibility study for the Merced Streams Group, there is also modifying language in the bill that would provide for Merced Irrigation District to advance funds so it could complete a study to evaluate raising the spillway gates at New Exchequer Dam. An additional 10,000 acre-feet of water would be made available annually to serve Merced County if the spillway gates are raised at New Exchequer Dam. This is the type of legislation we need to help provide relief to the farmers and communities in California that have been unfairly impacted by five years of drought conditions.”  

Costa continued saying, “The drought in California is not over, nor has this Congress addressed the underlying reasons for the disproportionate impact on San Joaquin Valley communities. We still need a California water bill enacted, which will create a rational, balanced water policy in the short- and long-term that benefits California’s communities and improves its environment.”

Merced County Impacts

  • The bill authorizes a feasibility study for the Merced Streams Group project that was originally authorized in 1944 and has not yet been completed. Since 1997, 8 floods in the region have caused significant damage to communities in Merced County. This study, when complete, will evaluate and provide recommendations to move beyond the substandard 50-year flood planning to a much higher standard of flood protection.
  • Expedited completion of the Lower San Joaquin River flood risk management report.

California funding, reports and projects

  • $1.5 billion in Flood Risk Management funds for the American River and West Sacramento projects
  • $20 million in Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk reduction funds to San Diego County
  • $69.5 million in Flood Risk Management, Ecosystem Restoration and Recreation funds for the South San Francisco Bay shoreline
  • $375 million in Ecosystem Restoration and Recreation funds for the LA River
  • Expedited completion of the report for the Sacramento River Flood Control System
  • Authorization of the feasibility studies for the Cache Creek Settling Basin, the Coyote Valley Dam, the Del Rosa Channel, the Mission-Zanja Channel, and the Soboba Indian Reservation