Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) has reintroduced the Securing Access for the Central Valley and Enhancing (SAVE) Water Resources Act. The bill provides a wraparound approach to addressing water issues facing the Central Valley by increasing storage opportunities, spurring innovation, and making “long-overdue investments in our aging water infrastructure,” said the congressman
This builds on Harder’s work delivering $65 million in federal funds for the Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir and Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion projects earlier this year as well as his work leading a bipartisan coalition toward including $8 billion in water investments in the bipartisan infrastructure bill. The bill is cosponsored by Representatives Costa, McNerney, Garamendi, and Panetta.
“We’re looking at another historic drought in our Valley and the old ways of thinking about water just won’t cut it anymore,” said Harder. “My SAVE Water Resources Act promises a new way forward on water. We’re bringing Democrats, Republicans, farmers and environmentalists together to make the investments we’ll need to get through this drought and every one that comes after.”
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:
• Improves water storage by requiring the Bureau of Reclamation to expedite feasibility studies for two specific storage projects in the Central Valley: Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir, and San Luis Reservoirs.
• 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 projects.
• 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 Aging
• Establishes a water infrastructure and drought solutions fund to provide $750 million for water surface and groundwater storage, water reclamation and reuse, and WaterSMART program projects.
• Creates an innovative financing program which 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.