Water legislation introduced Thursday in the U.S. Senate recognizes the continued crisis facing water reliability in the West, according to the California Farm Bureau Federation.
CFBF endorsed the Drought Resiliency and Water Supply Infrastructure Act by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who introduced the bipartisan legislation along with Sens. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., Martha McSally, R-Ariz., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.
The bill would authorize federal funding for new storage, recycling and desalination projects; create a loan program for water supply projects; enhance forest restoration and other activities to benefit water supply or quality; and take additional steps to encourage water development.
“We thank Senator Feinstein for her ongoing efforts to improve the water outlook in California and throughout the West,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said. “In this decade alone, California has experienced severe drought and torrential rainfall, and experts believe that may be the future trend for our state. That means we must improve investment in water projects to capture water when it’s available.”
Johansson said the bill would make investments in water infrastructure more attractive and affordable for state, regional and local agencies, and also welcomed provisions authorizing federal participation in forest, meadow and watershed-restoration activities.
“Watershed restoration improves the quality, timing and other aspects of water than runs off into surface or groundwater facilities,” he said. “Federal forestland must be actively managed for public safety, the environment and water supply.”
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 36,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of nearly 5.6 million Farm Bureau members.