NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – This week, Congressmen John Garamendi (D-CA-03) and Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-01) officially introduced H.R. 4300, the Sacramento Valley Water Storage and Restoration Act of 2014.
The bill would authorize construction of Sites Reservoir in Colusa County upon completion of the feasibility study.
“Construction of Sites Reservoir would bring California one major step closer to a drought-proof water system. It has support across the aisle and across the state. I will continue to work with Doug and local stakeholders to move this project across the finish line,” said Congressman Garamendi, a former Deputy Secretary of the Department of Interior.
“We know that Sites Reservoir is needed to allow our California’s economy to continue to grow, to ensure that our cities have a secure water supply and to keep our agricultural sector strong. This project’s merits are recognized by lawmakers of both parties, water suppliers, cities, agriculture and environmental groups, and our drought would not be as dire had it already been built,” said Congressman LaMalfa.
The bill sets a deadline for the completion of the feasibility study and if deemed feasible, authorizes construction of the storage reservoir. The bill also creates a process by which a non-federal sponsor could develop the project.
Once completed, Sites Reservoir would provide 1.9 million acre feet of water storage capacity for Northern California and would help residents prepare for droughts like the one currently hurting the state.
Congressman LaMalfa is the lead sponsor and Congressman Garamendi is the original co-sponsor of the legislation.
The congressmen jointly developed the bill with local stakeholders, primarily the Sites Joint Powers Authority, a regional consortium of local water agencies and counties who joined together in 2010 to advocate for the project.
The project promotes state goals of regional self-sufficiency in water use. Storage is a key component of Congressman Garamendi’s “Water Plan for All of California,” which can be read at www.garamendi.house.gov/water .
For continually updated information on H.R. 4300, including bill status and cosponsors, go to http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.uscongress/legislation.113hr4300 .