Rep. Peters Brings Resources to Enhance San Diego Water Security
Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) helped pass a bipartisan bill that will bring millions of dollars to the San Diego region to improve water security and drought mitigation. The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, a comprehensive water bill that decides water infrastructure projects and policy for the next two years, authorizes projects in the San Diego region and allocates federal funds for water desalination, recycling, and storage projects to support drought-ridden southern California.
The bill also includes an amendment from Rep. Peters that gives the Army Corps of Engineers the resources to evaluate the structural health of its current infrastructure and construction projects. By using structural health monitoring, the Army Corps can increase the resiliency of potentially vulnerable infrastructure before a disaster strikes, and be able to more quickly evaluate damage after a disaster.
“As we face the longest drought in our state’s history and prepare for the effects of climate change, it is crucial that we make investments in resiliency, innovation, and water security,” Rep. Peters said. “This bill is not exactly what I would have written, but it is a bipartisan compromise that moves projects forward and unlocks much-needed resources. San Diego has made crucial investments in innovative water projects that put us in a good position to compete for these funds and enhance our water security in the long-term.”
Rep. Peters also praised the $170 million dollars in funding to repair Flint’s water infrastructure and help families and children poisoned by the water crisis. Helping the people of Flint has been a personal priority for Rep. Peters, an environmental attorney who spent much of his childhood in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, Michigan and visited Flint earlier this year.
Rep. Peters continued, “During my childhood in the Midwest I learned that when your neighbor is in need you drop everything to help them. The people of Flint have needed help for months, and the deadly issues with their water infrastructure have been ignored for much longer. These resources will help restore clean drinking water to the people of Flint and provide long-term support to the children who were poisoned during the water crisis.”
Below are a number of provisions in the Water Resource Development Act relevant to San Diego:
- Authorizes $20.2 million in initial federal funding for the Encinitas and Solana Beach Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project, which will help reduce risks to public safety and commerce associated with bluff and beach erosion in that area of San Diego County.
- Provides $70 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act fund and increases funding for WaterSMART from $350 million to $450 million, primary sources of grants for San Diego’s Pure Water project.
- Reforms the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to allow the Port of San Diego to access more money from the fund than it was previously allowed, enabling the Port to take better advantage of the money it contributes.
- Allocates more than $450 million for water desalination, recycling, and storage projects to enhance water security in drought-ridden California.
- Authorizes funding to restore the Salton Sea, a priority for the San Diego region.