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McCarthy Statement on Critical Friant-Kern Canal Project Advancing

Oct 8, 2021
Press Release


Yesterday, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Friant Water Authority selected a contractor to repair subsidence along a 10-mile segment of the Friant-Kern Canal.  This subsidence has resulted in about a 50% reduction in capacity of the canal, curtailing its ability to deliver water to families, farms, and communities along the eastern side of California’s Central Valley, including in Tulare County and Kern County. This announcement was made possible by Section 4007 of the bipartisan Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, which Congressman McCarthy shepherded through Congress in 2016, and the $210.5 million in Federal funding Congressman McCarthy secured between Fiscal Years 2018 and 2021 specifically for repairing subsidence along the Friant-Kern Canal. 

Congressman McCarthy issued the following statement:

“The Friant-Kern Canal provides critical water to families and communities in Tulare County and Kern County.  This water also supports tens of thousands of acres of productive farmland in the Central Valley.  This announcement marks another key step forward to repairing this canal so, when Mother Nature once again blesses our state with rain and snow, this water can be moved quickly and efficiently to our communities and agricultural producers who need it.  I look forward to the Friant-Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Correction Project advancing expeditiously.” 

Background

  • On October 7, 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Friant Water Authority announced a $177 million contract award to Brosamer & Wall/Tutor Perini Joint Venture to make repairs to subsidence along a 10-mile stretch of the Friant-Kern Canal. 
  • In 2016, the bipartisan Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, which was championed by McCarthy, was signed into law. Section 4007 of the law created a process by which water infrastructure projects, like the Friant-Kern Canal Middle Reach Capacity Correction Project, can be authorized by Congress and provided Federal funds of up to 50% of total project costs. 
  • Between Fiscal Year 2018 and Fiscal year 2021, Congressman McCarthy secured $210,550,000 to repair subsidence on the Friant-Kern Canal at the request the U.S. Department of the Interior.
  • Some portions of the Friant-Kern Canal have subsided (up to 2 feet in some places) reducing the canal’s capacity to deliver water by about 50% to the Arvin-Edison Water Storage District, Delano-Earlimart Irrigation District, Kern Tulare Water District, Sausalito Irrigation District, Shafter-Wasco Irrigation District, South San Joaquin Municipal Utility District, Tea Pot Dome Water District, and Terra Bella Irrigation District.
  • Built between 1939 and 1944, the Friant-Kern Canal is 152 miles long, delivering water from Millerton Lake to the eastern side of the Central Valley for irrigation and conjunctive use purposes, and terminates near Bakersfield, California.
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