SOURCE: CA Department of Water Resources

CA Department of Water Resources

April 15, 2009 17:41 ET

Statement by DWR Director Lester A. Snow in Response to Federal Funding for Water Projects

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - April 15, 2009) - Department of Water Resources (DWR) Director Lester A. Snow today applauded Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's announcement that the Obama administration has earmarked $260 million for California water projects. The funding is part of national infrastructure investment under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.

"This is exactly the kind of immediate federal action we've been seeking," said Director Snow. "This money will help California work toward a comprehensive solution to providing clean, reliable and sustainable water supplies to our people, farms and businesses, and will create needed jobs up and down the state."

In particular, Snow welcomed the $4 million allocated to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan for improving water supply reliability and restoring habitat, the $109.8 million to build a screened pumping plant at the Red Bluff Diversion Dam to protect fish populations while delivering water to agriculture, and the $26 million for Battle Creek Salmon/Steelhead Restoration project, which will help restore fisheries that support thousands of jobs in northern California.

Snow said the state looks forward to competing for additional funding from the federal government's infrastructure investments. "This is a big step in the right direction," he said. "But more funding and continued strong leadership from Washington will be critical to solving California's water needs."

Last month, Gov. Schwarzenegger created the California Recovery Task Force to track ARRA funding coming into the state. The task force will work with the Obama administration; help cities, counties, non-profits, and others access the available funding; ensure that the funding funneled through the state is spent efficiently and effectively; and maintain a Web site that is frequently and thoroughly updated for Californians to be able to track the stimulus dollars.