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Trump Approves Funding For Water Projects That Could Mean More California Reservoirs

US Bureau of Reclamation
Raising Shasta Dam is among the water projects that could be funded by a bill just signed into law by President Trump.

President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan infrastructure bill this week that could lead to raising the Shasta Dam and funding other reservoir projects.

The plan is to spend $6 billion throughout the country over 10 years. The president says the funding will go toward ports, reducing flood risk, restoring ecosystems and performing upkeep on waterways — “which are in deep, deep trouble, but they won’t be for very long,” Trump added.

The Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 would also improve drinking water, and also water storage and delivery, Trump said.

The measure passed the Senate in early October with an almost unanimous vote of 99 to 1.  

Central Valley-based Republican Congressmember Jeff Denham says the bill could fund the raising of Shasta Dam.

"This will allow us to build everything from new reservoirs to actually building desalination plants and groundwater storage,” Denham said. “It'll be a way for us to control our water throughout the state and create better habitat for our environment."

He also said the law will also enhance needed local flood protection for more than 50,000 Central Valley residents.

Some environmental groups oppose many of the reservoir projects, like Shasta, Sites and Temperance Flat. They want to preserve the land and endangered species.

Trump's decision comes days after he signed a memorandum Friday that would streamline regulations to help speed up deliveries from California's two main water systems to farmers.

Copyright 2018 Capital Public Radio