The New River originates in Mexico and flows into the United States through Calexico
(SACRAMENTO) – Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez is pleased to report that the water bond bill, AB 2554, approved yesterday in Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee now includes $10 million in funding that can be used for New River improvement efforts.
“Last year,” Assemblyman Perez said, “when I invited the Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee to the Coachella Valley to discuss the water bond with local stakeholders, a conversation was initiated that has yielded significant results for our region.”
“There is now a deeper understanding of the important role the state water bond can play with regard to the Salton Sea and the New River.”
“This led last year to increased bond funding for the Salton Sea, and now this week for the New River.”
“Due to my discussions with Chairman Rendon and his staff, bond language related to the Lahontan and Colorado River Basin was specifically amended to include the protection and restoration of river quality, thus making New River improvement efforts eligible for these funds.”
“This action, adopted yesterday by the Committee, is another example what focused advocacy and engagement can bring for our region.”
Last year, amendments were made to the bond to designate $500 million to fulfill commitments made by the State under the Salton Sea Quantification Settlement Agreement.
In addition, $750 million is authorized in the bond for “expenditures and grants for ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration projects” under the “Protecting Rivers, Lakes, Streams, and Watersheds”, with the Salton Sea specifically referenced as an eligible watershed to compete for funding.
Pérez is the author of AB 1079 establishing the New River Improvement Project, facilitating the clean-up of the New River, considered the most polluted river in the United States.
The law initiates the New River Improvement Project and the development of a strategic plan to guide the implementation with partners on both sides of the border. During the 2009 state budget negotiations, Pérez successfully secured $800,000 in non-General Fund money for improvement of the River.