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Public Responses


Repairing Canals

May 23, 2020

Senator Dianne Feinstein just introduced an $800 million bill to repair critical canals in the San Joaquin Valley. The canals are sinking due to the government's refusal to deliver contractually promised surface water to stakeholders which keep the aquifers expanded and healthy, and lessen the need to use replacement groundwater. The majority of that water now goes to the ocean instead. In a statement from Feinstein's office she writes, "Restoring the San Joaquin Valley’s canals is one of the most efficient ways to improve the sustainability of California’s water supply. It would allow us to capture more winter storm floodwaters and use that extra water to offset necessary reductions in groundwater pumping."

While these canal repairs are essential, her statement is not truthful. Canals convey water. They do not capture it. This does not provide new water sources, rather, moves existing water sources. The text of the bill makes it very clear there will be no water capacity increases allowed. The bill also dedicates 25\% of the money to restoring salmon populations. Sigh.

Last thing I thought was intriguing: The bill will fund no more than 50\% of a project. Cost sharing partners can either pay the other 50\% with cash, or "in-kind" donations. Hmmm. I wonder what they're after? What is more valuable to them than cash?

Read the text of the bill here. It is only eight pages. Excerpts below: https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/…/6A0DF6222258921175500736…

Here is a link to the article from her office: https://mavensnotebook.com/…/this-just-in-feinstein-introd…/ with the headline, "

Kristi Diener