The Friant-Kern Canal

published on May 24, 2019 - 11:24 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Senate Bill 559, which would require the Department of Water Resources to grant funds to restore capacity of the Friant-Kern Canal, has passed out of the California Senate.

The bill, passed with bipartisan support, provides a $400 million grant for critical repairs to help restore the Friant-Kern Canal, which is suffering from structural problems related to land subsidence.

The lead author of SB 559 is freshman Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) of the 14th District.

The canal is the main water delivery feature on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley and is also used for groundwater recharge.

The Frian-Kern Canal supplies water to more than 30 irrigation districts and cities, which includes 15,000 family farms. The Central Valley Project of the Friant-Water Canal brings water to more than 1 million acres of farmland thought the southern San Joaquin Valley, and from Chowchilla to the Tehachapi Mountains.

“California’s water delivery infrastructure, which is meant to provide both water delivery for immediate needs and drought resiliency for the future, is unable to perform as intended,” Hurtado said in a statement. “As a result, water supplies that could be used by our communities, farms and the environment, aren’t being utilized to its full capacity.”

Senate Bill 559 will now go to the California Assembly for consideration.

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