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CALFED Bill Signed into Law

President Bush signed the historic Water Supply, Reliability and Improvement Act, bipartisan federal legislation reauthorizing the state-federal CALFED Bay-Delta Program. The legislation authorizes a total of $389 million to the program through 2010 for water supply, water quality, flood control and environmental restoration efforts.

“With this action, we took a major step towards bringing California’s water infrastructure into the 21st century, thanks to President Bush and California’s determined representatives in Congress,” said ACWA President Jerry Gladbach. “As we continue to implement the CALFED Program over the next five years and beyond, we will help expand and improve the quality of essential water supplies statewide. Just as importantly, it will do so while protecting our environment and the flood control facilities that California’s communities rely upon.”

In the House and Senate, California’s representatives have devoted several years to getting a bill to the President. The CALFED legislation originally proposed in the House was drafted by Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Riverside), and co-sponsored by Rep. Grace Naplitano (D-Santa Fe Springs). Calvert’s Water and Power subcommittee held CALFED hearings across the state in 2003. After the hearings and several re-draftings over the course of the 108th Congress, the bill’s eventual co-sponsor list this year swelled to 31, and became a top priority of House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo (R-Stockton).

In the Senate, California Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) introduced her companion bill in May of 2003. Pombo worked closely this year with Senator Dianne Feinstein to craft the compromise bill eventually passed by the Senate and signed by the President yesterday. In both houses, bipartisanship and collaboration were the hallmark of the CALFED legislation from day one.

“The process used to hammer out a successful bill has truly showed California’s delegation at its best,” said ACWA Executive Director Steve Hall. “This legislation will further the President’s environmental agenda, and recognizes the importance of water to our economy and way of life.”

ACWA is a statewide non-profit organization whose 447 public agency members are collectively responsible for 90 percent of the water delivered in California.

For more information about the CALFED program, go to

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December 9, 2019, 10:17 am PDT

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