News Feature | June 9, 2014

Capitol Hill Considers Water Storage Bill From California Lawmakers

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome


A new bill under consideration on Capitol Hill aims to combat the effects of the California drought through the construction of a new reservoir. 

The Sacramento Valley Water Storage and Restoration Act of 2014 would "authorize a feasibility study and construction of Sites Reservoir in Colusa County, California," according to a release from the office of Rep. John Garamendi, D-CA. 

The bill includes a deadline for completing the study. If the project is found to be feasible, the bill authorizes the construction of the reservoir. "The bill also creates a process by which a non-federal sponsor could develop the project," Lake County News reported

The proposal to build Sites Reservoir would provide 1.9 million acre feet of water storage capacity. 

"This bipartisan legislation was developed with local stakeholders, primarily the Sites Joint Powers Authority (JPA), a regional consortium of local water agencies and counties who joined together in 2010 to advocate for the project," KRCR News reported

Garamendi framed the bill as a job creator. “Sites Reservoir would dramatically expand our water reserves – and create jobs in the process. We must heed the warning of the book of Genesis: stock up during the years of plenty, so that you can get by in the years of need,” he said in a statement. 

Doug LaMalfa, R-CA, said the drought has revealed the need for greater investment in the water supply. "While California's population has grown dramatically over the past few decades, we're still relying upon a water supply system built generations ago," he said in a statement. “It's time to end the decade of studies and build this project, before the next drought cuts off water to our communities, farms and ranches."

For more on policy and politics, check out Water Online's Regulations and Legislation Solution Center

Image credit: "United States Capitol," faungg's photo © 2009, used under an Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license:

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