WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) voted for S. 612, the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, legislation to alleviate water shortages in California. The landmark compromise is the result of negotiations between California House Republicans and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and will now be considered in the U.S. Senate.
“Delivering relief from water shortages to California’s families and farms isn’t about politics. I’m glad that both sides of the negotiating table were able to come together and strike a good faith agreement. While this is only the first step in ensuring California’s water distribution is sensible and fair, it is a positive one,” said Rep. Royce.
It’s estimated that this legislation will provide for an additional 200,000 acre-feet of water for Southern California and the Central Valley annually, enough to meet the needs of 446,000 average California households.
Specifically, the legislation:
– Directs federal agencies (Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service) to pump water at the high end of the Delta smelt and salmonid biological opinions (i.e. -5,000 cfs OMR). This is within current law and regulation. Only under certain conditions and if listed species are adversely impacted can pumping be reduced.
– Authorizes federal agencies to increase pumping rates under certain conditions to capture water from storm events provided listed species are not adversely impacted.
– Eliminates the water “payback” provision, which typically results in significant pumping reductions after storm events.
– Requires that the Delta Cross Channel Gates remain open as much as possible, consistent with Federal and state law, to allow more fresh water to flow into the central Delta to be pumped south or to reduce salinity.
– Expands the window for water transfers through the Delta to April 1 through November 30, which enables more water to flow from willing sellers in Northern California to willing buyers south-of-the-Delta. This will help reduce capacity limitation issues during certain times of the year.
– Requires the Federal government to consult with local and state public water agencies on the re-consultation of the Delta smelt and salmonid biological opinions, which the Bureau of Reclamation initiated earlier this year.
– Directs the Interior and Commerce Departments, using new science, real-time monitoring, and other information, to maximize water supplies through operational or management measures.
Saat Alety (202-225-4111)
Source: U.S. Representative Ed Royce