WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) today re-introduced H.R. 434, the “New Water Available To Every Reclamation State Act” (New WATER Act) to authorize a pilot project to help finance development of water resources infrastructure in reclamation states, such as California.
“Our area has been blessed to receive a lot of rain lately, but our lack of available infrastructure to store all of this water means that too much of it will be wasted,” said Rep. Denham. “The New WATER Act would bring together public funding with private sector investment to improve water storage and delivery for the Central Valley.”
The bill encourages private investment in systems that serve the public interest by providing low-interest, government-backed loans with a long repayment period. In order to be approved, projects must be capable of generating sustainable revenue streams, whether through user fees or other dedicated sources.
Eligible projects include those that would contribute to a safe, adequate water supply; increase energy efficiency of existing water systems; accelerate repair or replacement of aging systems; develop desalination facilities; or use real property for water storage.
Additionally, Rep. Denham joined colleagues yesterday in sending a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service requesting that they increase pumping to rates over the next several days to continue capturing the storm water runoff entering the Delta. This action was authorized in the recently-passed “WIIN Act,” which included California drought relief provisions and received bipartisan support from the majority of the California congressional delegation.
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Editor’s Note: A copy of the full bill text is available here.