Date: May 27, 2014
Nitrate Provision in Water Bill May Assist Rural California Communities

Last week, both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives passed the conference report for H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014.  This water infrastructure bill is significant because it ensures that the maintenance and needed upgrades of the inland waterways system is achieved in a timely and cost efficient manner.  The inland waterways system includes ports, channels, locks, levees, and dams.

The bill includes provisions sought by Sen. Barbara Boxer that allow for a low/zero interest loan program for water infrastructure projects that improve drinking water quality, including responses to areas dealing with nitrate contamination.  Western Growers has strongly advocated for passage of this language given its potential. 

Recent studies indicate that several communities in the Tulare Lake Basin and Salinas Valley have elevated levels of nitrate in groundwater.  The California Governor’s Drinking Water Stakeholder Group reports that communities with private wells and state smalls (systems under 15 connections) are often ineligible for funding from existing sources.  Western Growers has led the effort to ensure that the provisions within WRRDA could provide funds to deal with this issue. 

WG Staff Contact

Dennis Nuxoll
Vice President, Federal Government Affairs
202-296-0191 x7303

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