WASHINGTON, D.C. (KGET) — Congressman David G. Valadao (R-Hanford) introduced legislation Tuesday aimed at bringing more water to California and the Central Valley.
The Responsible, No-Cost Extension of Western Waters Infrastructure Improvements, or RENEW WIIN, Act, would extend the authorization of appropriations for water storage projects that the Secretary of the Interior finds feasible, per Valadao, who noted the RENEW WIIN Act is his first legislative action of the 117th Congress. The bill, according to the congressman, also would extend the provision requiring consultation on coordinated operations for the state water project and Central Valley Project, a 400 mile multi-purpose network of dams, reservoirs, canals, and hydroelectric powerplants throughout the region.
The bill is an extension of the 2016 Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN Act) which provided funding and resources for drinking water infrastructure across the country.
Valadao said the bill is supported by local farmers and all 10 GOP members of the California Congressional delegation.
“As a dairy farmer and a lifelong resident of the Central Valley, I know firsthand just how important water is to farmers and families in California,” said Valadao. “I promised my constituents that I would fight to bring more water to the Valley. Today, I introduced legislation to extend the authorities under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act of 2016, providing access to safe, clean, and reliable water for our communities.”
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) threw his support behind the measure.
“I am confident that the RENEW WIIN Act, which extends the bipartisan California water provisions in the WIIN Act of 2016, will help to improve the lives of our local agricultural producers and farming families who help to feed California and the world,” McCarthy said.
Chris White, Executive Director of the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority, said the legislation will “support the economic viability of our communities.”
Both houses of Congress must pass the bill before it reaches President Biden’s desk. Biden has not indicated whether he will support the measure.