SACRAMENTO – Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) announced today that he is a co-author of Assembly Bill 1649 by Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield). AB 1649 urges the Brown Administration to expedite water storage projects, consistent with the goals of Proposition 1, the $7.12 billion Water Bond approved by California voters in 2014.
“As California continues to combat historic drought conditions and as El Niño storms take their toll, we should be doing everything we can to update our water storage infrastructure,” said Salas. “Had these investments been made decades ago we would be prepared to capture the rainfall from recent El Niño storms. AB 1649 will make sure that California voters receive what they approved by streamlining projects that will enable us to capture more water in years of high rainfall and prevent large losses of rain water in the future.”
Currently, over 90 percent of California is experiencing severe drought, raising concerns over water supply dependability and the need for immediate statewide action. Expanding and improving California's water storage capacity is long overdue. The last time California experienced significant state and federal investments in water storage and delivery systems was over 50 years ago in the 1960s, when the state's population stood at 16 million. Today, that same water storage system supports 38 million individuals and will need to support 50 million by 2050.
“California voters made it very clear that they want major surface water storage projects built with the dollars they approved without delay. This measure enforces their voice,” said Vidak.
Among the water storage projects available, the Temperance Flat Dam and Sites Reservoir meet statewide goals and provide public benefits to the greatest extent.