WASHINGTON – The first bill introduced by Representative Josh Harder (CA-10), the Securing Access for the Central Valley and Enhancing (SAVE) Water Resources Act passed in the Natural Resources Committee today on a vote of 19-12. The bill provides a wraparound approach to addressing water issues facing the Central Valley by supporting local water storage projects, spurring innovation, and making long-overdue investments in our aging water infrastructure. This is the final step in the legislative process before the bill receives a vote in the full House of Representatives.
“My job is to teach these people in Washington what we need in the Valley – the top of that list is investments to protect our water,” said Rep. Harder. “This is a huge win for our area – it’s got local support from folks on all sides of the issue and it makes the investments we’ve needed for decades. Next stop is the House floor.”
The SAVE Water Resources Act touches on a broad range of water policy areas aimed at increasing water storage opportunities, spurring innovation in water sustainability, and making responsible federal investments in our aging water infrastructure. In brief, the bill:
SUPPORTS LOCAL WATER STORAGE PROJECTS
Improves water storage by requiring the Bureau of Reclamation to expedite feasibility studies for four specific storage projects in the Central Valley, including: Sites Reservoir, Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir, Los Vaqueros, San Luis Reservoir, and Pacheco Reservoir and provides $100 million in storage funding. Last year, Rep. Harder secured $14 million in federal funding for several of these projects – the first funding for a new surface water storage project in his district in 50 years.
Helps farmers prepare for SGMA by leveraging federal resources to identify prime locations for groundwater storage and recharge in California and across the Western United States.
Creates the “X-Prize” program to incentivize private sector development of cutting-edge water technology including desalination and water recycling.
Invests in water reuse and recycling by increasing funding for WaterSMART programs from $50 million to $500 million and extending the program’s authorization.
INVESTS MILLIONS IN OUR AGING WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
Establishes a water infrastructure and drought solutions fund to provide $300 million for water surface and groundwater storage, water reclamation and reuse, and WaterSMART program projects.
Creates an innovative financing program that would provide low-interest federal loans to fund local water infrastructure projects.
Reauthorizes the Rural Water Supply Act, which requires the Bureau of Reclamation to work with rural communities to improve access to safe and clean sources of drinking water.
The SAVE Water Resources Act previously received a hearing in the Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee.
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