Sen. Dodd’s Water Project Bill Signed by Governor
SACRAMENTO – With much of the state in the grips of an extreme drought, Sen. Bill Dodd announced today his legislation to streamline improvements to the state’s outdated central water delivery system has been signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“The drought has underscored the precious nature of our water supply and the need to maintain the flow to our communities and farmers,” Sen. Dodd said. “This new law will help us do that while saving time and money. I thank Gov. Newsom for seeing the value in this important measure.”
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 authorizes the department to streamline the contractor selection process to get the most qualified experts at the lowest cost. The measure does not apply to any new Delta conveyances. 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 both the Senate and Assembly with overwhelming support before it was signed by Gov. Newsom on Thursday as part of a $15 billion climate, wildfire prevention and drought package.
“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. ACWA thanks Gov. Newsom for signing this important bill into law.”
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.