Approval of Federal Water Bill Welcomed in Natomas

Natomas flood protection and levee provisions will benefit entire region
Sacramento, CA. May 20, 2014 – Sacramento County welcomes the expected passage of the California Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) bill. The bill is expected to be approved by Congress this week and sent to the President for his signature. If approved, the bill will, among other things, authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to improve Natomas’ levees.  Natomas is home to over 100,000 residents, Sacramento International Airport and more than $7 billion in property. .

"All those who work, live and play within this basin thank Senator Barbara Boxer and Congresswoman Doris Matsui for championing this historic legislation.  As a County Supervisor and former Chairman of the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, I know how important this bill is to my community.  Moving this bill along has been a team effort involving many individuals and agencies at the local, state and federal levels, and it is with a great sense of pride that I thank my fellow Natomas neighbors.  This would not have been possible without their patience, support and perseverance."

Other regional benefits of the bill:
  • WIFIA: A five-year pilot program, known as the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), to allow the Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency to provide loans and loan guarantees for flood control, water supply, and wastewater infrastructure projects. This program, which is based on the successful TIFIA program for transportation projects, is intended to provide critical financing for water infrastructure projects identified by local communities. These include projects to help with California's ongoing drought, including desalination, water recycling, and repair of aging water supply infrastructure. 
  • Levee Safety: Enhances the safety of our nation's levees, establishing a National Levee Safety Initiative that promotes consistent safety standards and effectively communicates to the public the risks of living behind a levee. This new initiative is intended to provide support to state levee safety programs, including efforts to enhance levee safety in California. 
  • Levee Vegetation: Requires the Corps of Engineers to update its guidelines for the removal of vegetation on Corps levees after seeking public input. This legislation proposes to ensure that the Corps of Engineers' policy is focused on the highest priority safety concerns for California communities. 
  • Crediting: Allows local communities to carry out work in advance of the Corps of Engineers and receive credit for work performed.
    “This bill is extremely important to our community and we look forward to work on our levees beginning as soon as possible,” Serna added. 
Supervisor Serna is available for comment on the passage of WRRDA and can be reached at 916-874-5485.
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Contact: Lisa Nava
Phone: 916-874-5485