Last week, Representative Jim Costa (D-Fresno) introduced two bills to address California water supply and water quality goals: 

  • H.R. 3023, the Restoring Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Eligibility Act — a bipartisan bill also introduced by Representative John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove) — would amend the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014 to clarify that federally-owned infrastructure managed and operated by non-federal entities, such as the San Luis Delta-Mendota Water Authority, are eligible for WIFIA financing.
  • H.R. 3022, which is co-sponsored by Representatives Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove), David Valadao (R-Hanford) and Devin Nunes (R-Tulare), would allow necessary improvements to the Redbank and Fancher Creek water projects in Fresno County.  The improvements would help capture up to 15,000-acre feet of water each year and recharge underground aquifers. 

Additionally, last week Republicans on the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee introduced legislation to invest in Clean Water Infrastructure.  The Wastewater Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2021 (bill text | section-by-section summary) would authorize $14 billion over the next five years for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which provides loan financing and assistance for communities for a range of water infrastructure projects.  That is significantly less than the $40 billion over the next five years under the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2021, introduced by the Committee’s Democrats in March.  The GOP bill is in line with the wastewater portion of the bipartisan water infrastructure legislation (S. 914) the Senate passed in April, which would authorize $35 billion for both drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects.  The House T&I Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) said earlier this week he hopes to markup the Democrats water bill soon.