Assemblymember Arambula Testifies in Support of Funding for Temperance Flat

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

(Sacramento) – Today, Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (Fresno-D) testified before the California Water Commission in support of funding for the Temperance Flat Reservoir.  The Temperance Flat Project proposal is seeking funding from the Water Storage Investment Program (WSIP) which was established by Proposition 1 (2014) and has $2.7 billion available for new water storage projects.  There are a total of 11 projects from across the state that are requesting funds.

Arambula was joined by the San Joaquin Valley Water Infrastructure Authority, community leaders, farmers, water managers, and local officials from the San Joaquin Valley as they presented their application for funding.

“The Central Valley is the epicenter of our State water crisis.  Land subsidence, unreliable water supply, and poor water quality are issues we deal with every day,” said Assemblymember Arambula.  “The Temperance Flat Reservoir Project is the first step in addressing these problems.  Criteria for funding is contingent on real and measurable public benefits, addressing long-term water needs for families, farms, communities, and the environment.”

“That is exactly what Temperance Flat demonstrates,” continued Arambula.  “There is no more real and measurable implementation of Proposition 1 funding than ensuring a reliable water supply to the area that was hardest hit during the drought – an area that is responsible for producing so much of the food supply that our State and our Nation relies on.”

Below are the comments made by Assemblymember Arambula at today’s commission hearing:

My name is Joaquin Arambula and I represent the 31st Assembly District.

Our Farm Bureau estimates that every dollar produced on the farm generates more than $3.50 and that Fresno County alone contributes more than $5.6 billion annually to the State economy.

In 2015 – at the height of the drought – the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences estimated that the drought cost us $2.7 billion and 21,000 jobs were lost.

Economic, health, and environmental burdens make my district a disadvantaged community.  50 percent of the census tracts in my Assembly District are in the 95th percentile of the lowest income and most polluted census tracts.

The Central Valley is the epicenter of our State water crisis.

Small, rural, farm worker communities in the Valley rely on groundwater.  The fifth largest city in the State and the fastest growing region rely on groundwater supplies.

Many of our rural communities lack the financial ability and technical expertise to deal with these long-term issues on their own.

As groundwater aquifers are depleted, so is water quality.

In the Valley, water is our lifeblood.  It allows our cities and schools to grow and our agricultural economy to prosper.

Land subsidence, unreliable water supply, and poor water quality are issues we deal with every day.

These are also issues that the State will also deal with as we continue to grow and as our statewide water supplies, storage, and conveyance systems are stressed.

The Temperance Flat Reservoir Project is the first step in addressing these problems.  Criteria for funding is contingent on real and measurable public benefits, addressing long-term water needs for families, farms, communities, and the environment.  That is exactly what Temperance Flat demonstrates.  There is no more real and measurable implementation of Prop 1 funding than ensuring a reliable water supply to the area that was hardest hit during the drought – an area that is responsible for producing so much of the food supply that our State and our Nation relies on.

I urge you act now and help make Temperance Flat a reality.

 

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