Rep. Costa's Water Infrastructure Bill Heard in House Water and Power Subcommittee

Feb 4, 2010
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Subcommittee on Water and Power held a legislative hearing on H.R. 4225, a bill authored by Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) and Congressman Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced) which would provide immediate funding for water projects in California to help bring water to the Valley.  Today’s hearing sets the stage for the bill to move through committee and onto the House floor for a vote. 

“Fighting for water for our Valley and for our economy are the most important issues for me,” Costa said.  “This legislation will allow important water projects to come online faster and will create construction jobs for our Valley.  It’s a double win.” 

“Our Valley’s farms cannot exist on a 10% allocation this year.  It’s unacceptable.  If we are at 117% of snowpack in the Sierra, and to give our farmers a 10% allocation is nonsensical and unexplainable.  Our farmers and farm workers need to be put back to work to grow the best food and fiber in America,” Costa said. 

 H.R. 4225 expedites the federal government’s ability to build needed water projects in the San Joaquin Valley by lowering or eliminating required matching funds provided by state or local government.  Any area of California that has been designated a disaster area by the state Governor during calendar year 2009 will be eligible.  Also, any part of the state that has been identified by the U.S. Drought Monitor in the last 24 months as experiencing severe, extreme or exceptional drought will qualify. 

The Secretary may use funds provided in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 or funds appropriated by Congress through fiscal year 2012 for any required non-Federal share of project already funded by the federal government and are located in California.  In order to qualify, projects will need to meet at least one of three criteria.

● It would need to be previously identified as a project that makes progress toward      creating a more reliable water supply in California and restore the Delta.

● Increase water management flexibility.

● Reduce impacts on environmental resources from water projects operated by the State     Department of Water Resources, State Department of Fish and Game, Bureau of   Reclamation, and US Fish and Wildlife Service.