SACRAMENTO – Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) has issued the following statement after an announcement was made by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation that the process to repair the Friant-Kern Canal has begun:
“The Friant-Kern Canal plays a key role in the economy of the Central Valley, including providing water to one million acres of farmland in Tulare and Kern counties. Restoring the canal will support our farmers who put food on America’s table, increase our water supply, and benefit the environment by helping recharge our aquifers.
"This investment is a necessary first step in addressing the severe water crisis in California. I am thankful the Federal Administration has made our Central Valley water a priority. It's time for the state Legislature to prioritize it as well," said Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove.
Earlier this year, Senate Republican Leader Grove coauthored Senate Bill 559, which would have provided funding for the restoration of the Friant-Kern Canal. The bill was held by Democrats in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
The Bureau of Reclamation announced yesterday that public comments may now be submitted on its plans to repair the Friant-Kern Canal. The canal has lost over 50 percent of its original capacity due to design deficiencies and land subsidence. The purpose of the proposed project is to restore the capacity of the canal’s Middle Reach as it was constructed.