House Bill Would Cut Reclamation Funding for Water

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation would see its water resources budget cut by $82 million under a 2014 spending bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee.

Overall, Reclamation?s Water and Related Resources budget for fiscal year 2014 would get $812.7 million, which largely funds dozens of water projects in 17 western states, including the Central Arizona Project, the Central Valley Project in California and Colorado River Basin projects.

Of note, the bill would:

  • Provide no funds for California?s San Joaquin River Restoration project or for the WaterSMART Shared Investment Water Innovation Program;
  • Cut the federal share of California Bay-Delta Restoration work by nearly $10 million;
  • Urge Reclamation to work with California officials to provide a safe alternative source of drinking water for 1,500 customers of the Kettleman City Community Services District, where the groundwater supply is contaminated with benzene and arsenic; and
  • Support groundwater recharge and desalination initiatives.

Funding for Army Corps of Engineers projects is $4.9 billion, 2 percent below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level but $50 million above the President?s budget request.

The Senate Appropriations Committee, meanwhile, approved its version of the bill, which?would provide $5.3 billion for the Corps of Engineers and $1.1 billion for?Reclamation.

For more information on the House bill, visit:? http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=340615.

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