On Friday, President Obama signed S. 612, the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act into law, a bipartisan bill authorizing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to execute water infrastructure projects. The $12 billion measure authorizes funding for numerous water, wastewater, and flood protection projects throughout the nation. Notably, WIIN is seen as a huge victory for certain stakeholders in California as it will increase water deliveries to drought-stricken Southern California and Central Valley farmers. It will also fund new water supply projects and ecosystem restoration for some of the state’s most sensitive water bodies.
WIIN includes $558 million in funding for California to augment state and local funding sources for 137 water supply projects previously identified in the Feinstein drought bill (S. 2533). Key projects include the Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Project, flood protection for West Sacramento, the San Francisco shoreline and the American and Sacramento Rivers, Salton Sea restoration and harbor maintenance for ports in Hueneme and San Diego. WIIN also reauthorizes the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act to support continued efforts to improve water quality, restore habitat and combat the spread of invasive species throughout the Lake Tahoe watershed.
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