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California GOP Delegation Statement on Interior Funding Request for Water Storage Projects in Fiscal Year 2021

Jun 23, 2020
Press Release


Today, Representatives Kevin McCarthy, Ken Calvert (CA-42), Paul Cook (CA-08), Mike Garcia (CA-25), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Tom McClintock (CA-04), and Devin Nunes (CA-22) issued the following statement after Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Timothy Petty requested $108.7 million in funding for surface water storage infrastructure projects in California and the western United States:

“Water is the lifeblood that supports California’s families, small businesses, and agricultural producers. However, California’s last major reservoir was built over 40 years ago despite the state’s population doubling since then. This is simply not sustainable, and it’s clearer now more than ever that additional surface water storage in the state is necessary to maintaining our way of life.

“Prior to his election – and most recently during his visit to Bakersfield in February – President Trump recognized the importance of ensuring that our constituents get the water they contract and pay for, and the need for additional storage capacity to capture water during wet years for use in dry ones. That is why we want to commend him, Interior Secretary Bernhardt, and Reclamation Commissioner Burman for continuing to prioritize building new and expanding existing surface water storage facilities in California to help our state become drought resilient. 

“Now, Congress must work expeditiously to incorporate these funding requests, including money for the Shasta Reservoir project, in the Fiscal Year 2021 Energy and Water appropriations bill. We call on California House Democrats to put politics aside and ensure that the very people they were elected to represent have access to water.”


  • In order for surface water storage infrastructure projects to be funded under Section 4007 of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) must send Congress a letter requesting project funding by name and amount. Congress then must include these projects in the annual Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act in order to fund these projects.
  • To see a copy of the June 22, 2020 letter from DOI requesting funding for surface water storage infrastructure projects, click here.
  •  DOI last sent a letter requesting funds for surface water storage infrastructure projects in February 2019.
  • Congress funded almost all of these projects in the Fiscal Year 2020 Energy and Water appropriations bill, which was included in Public Law 116-94. However, Congressional Democrats blocked the requested funds for the Shasta Reservoir Enlargement Project, which is almost ready for construction.