On Friday, the U.S. Senate voted 78-21 to pass CalChamber-supported federal water legislation, the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN) that will greatly benefit California and the Western United States by promoting a safe and reliable water supply and bringing relief to drought stricken communities throughout the state.
The bill, S. 612, contains the Water Resources Development Act of 2016, California’s drought legislation and other measures. On Wednesday, the bill cleared the House of Representatives with a 360-61 vote.
“This bill provides an important framework for improving California’s water reliability while balancing the environmental requirements of our state,” said Allan Zaremberg, CalChamber President and CEO. “This legislation represents an important compromise that will go a long way toward improving California’s ever-present water challenges.”
According to Senator Dianne Feinstein, the water legislation is critical as “California is now entering into our sixth year of drought…and the effects of the drought have been devastating.”
Specifically, the bill would authorize a number of projects that will improve stormwater capture and groundwater recharge. It will also provide direction to the Army Corps to undertake infrastructure projects to enhance water recycling and improve the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program through beneficial financing measures. The bill further promotes local water supply development and provides funding for storage, reuse and desalination projects in the Western United States.
CalChamber is urging President Obama to quickly sign the measure into law.
Staff Contact: Valerie Nera