Porterville Recorder

Senator Melissa Hurtado’s bill to invest in Friant-kern Canal extended to two-year bill

- Recorder@portervill­erecorder.com

Senator Melissa Hurtado’s (D-sanger) legislatio­n, SB 559, was extended into a two-year bill during its review in the Assembly Appropriat­ions Committee. The bill, which has received bipartisan support, helps secure California’s water supply by setting up a policy framework to invest in the Friantkern Canal, one of San Joaquin Valley’s most critical water deliver facilities.

“I am beyond proud of the work that my colleagues and I have partnered on to raise awareness about the needs in the Central Valley region. The bipartisan work on SB 559 is just a glimpse of what we can accomplish if we work together,” said Sen. Hurtado. “Although the extension of the bill wasn’t the outcome that we had anticipate­d, it will provide stakeholde­rs across the board with more opportunit­ies to continue fighting for long-term investment­s in clean water supply. I look forward to revisiting this conversati­on next legislativ­e year with my colleagues,” continued Sen. Hurtado.

Currently, the Friant-kern Canal’s conveyance capacity has degraded due to several factors, including severe land subsidence caused by regional groundwate­r overdraft. A portion of the canal, roughly 20 miles long, has subsided twelve feet below its original design elevation, including three feet of subsidence from 2014 – 2017. As a result, the canal has suffered the loss of 60 percent of its carrying capacity – constricti­ng the delivery of water to some of California’s most vulnerable communitie­s.

“This effort is of critical importance to cities, farms, and small communitie­s that depend on water from the Friant-kern Canal to recharge our groundwate­r aquifer,” said Jason Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of Friant Water Authority. “Although delaying passage of this bill until next year was not the outcome we were hoping for, we remain committed to working towards creating a successful partnershi­p for funding, and Senator Hurtado’s efforts will be critical toward our success.”

The bill will be reconsider­ed in 2020.

 ??  ?? Sen. Melissa Hurtado
Sen. Melissa Hurtado

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