Sen. Dodd’s Water Project Bill Clears Legislature
SACRAMENTO – Amid a worsening drought that has underscored the precious nature of California’s dwindling water supplies, the Legislature has approved a bill from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, to streamline improvements to the state’s outdated central water delivery system.
“Water is the lifeblood of our state and we must keep it flowing to our communities and farmers,” Sen. Dodd said. “My bill will help get that done while saving time and money. I thank my fellow lawmakers for their overwhelming support.”
California’s 60-year-old water delivery system, known as the State Water Project, serves more than 27 million people and 750,000 acres of farmland through its 700 miles of aqueducts, canals and pipelines. It is the largest state-owned and operated water system in the world. The Department of Water Resources is pursuing a number of projects to improve the system through the use of contractors.
Senate Bill 626 would authorize the department to streamline the contractor selection process to get the most qualified experts at the lowest cost. It is supported by State Water Contractors, a nonprofit representing 27 public water agencies throughout the state, and the Association of California Water Agencies.
The bill passed the Assembly Monday with overwhelming support after previously clearing the Senate. It heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom following Senate concurrence.
“The State Water Project faces challenges to its continued operations in the forms of subsidence, growing population and demand, climate change, and more,” said Dave Eggerton, executive director for the Association of California Water Agencies. “SB 626 provides the Department of Water Resources with additional project procurement methods, which are proven to streamline projects and reduce construction costs. The tools provided in this bill will help the state build and maintain a resilient water supply system.”
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.