Last week, Central Washington’s Dan Newhouse introduced the Water Supply Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Utilization Act. Newhouse said the legislation will help local water operators and managers across the west in three different ways.
“Help with the operation, the maintenance and repair of a lot of the existing infrastructure that the Bureau of Reclamation has. There’s also a dam safety part of this that will allow the Bureau to continue investments to make sure the dams are operated as safely as efficiently as possible. And then there’s going to be some flexibility parts to this to allow local operators more tools to be able to manage water for droughts.”
Newhouse added the legislation will allows those local irrigation districts to store water at different times of the year and at different capacities to meet local needs. Newhouse added many of the irrigation projects across the west are 50, 75 even close to 100 years old and need upkeep to remain beneficial to the agriculture community. Newhouse noted his legislation authorizes $550 million to go toward need maintenance across the country.
“The good thing about the changes we’re making, we’re creating a revolving account. So, as the loans are paid back by these districts the money will go back into the account to be able to be used again, to continue the long-term maintenance of these projects.”
Newhouse’s bill is a companion to legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate back in June. Click Here to read the entire Act.
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