Costa, Cox, Harder Urge Funding for Friant-Kern Canal

Jun 18, 2019
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) along with Rep. TJ Cox (CA-21), and Rep. Josh Harder (CA-10), recently signed and delivered a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom and other state legislators stating their support for State Senate Bill 559 (SB-559), a critical piece of legislation that would provide funding towards improving the Friant-Kern Canal.

Introduced by California State Senator Melissa Hurtado, SB 559 would direct $400 million dollars to correct water delivery reductions that have recently plagued the 70-year-old piece of water infrastructure.

“Failing to fix the Friant-Kern canal is not an option,” said Rep. Costa. “This bill is an investment in our future and will help secure much needed water for our farmers and clean drinking water for our most vulnerable communities. Every day we don’t act on this we lose water, our most precious commodity.”

“I’ve seen for myself how serious the situation is on the canal. Water splashes on the bottom of the bridges and temporary fixes barely contain the flow of water,” said Rep. Cox. “Families rely on that water to drink and feed the crops that drive our economy and feed the world, so we need to act now.”

“We’ve been slacking off on our water investments for years, and the state of the Friant-Kern Canal is proof of how serious the problem has gotten,” said Rep. Harder. “Getting this fixed up will help our farmers and rural communities get access to the reliable water they need and helps support a source of clean drinking water – it’s long overdue.”

The capacity of the 152-mile canal to deliver water has been reduced by as much as 60% in recent years, preventing water from reaching regions with some of the most over-drafted aquifers in the state. This inability to deliver water imperils food supply and harms communities most in need of clean drinking water.