Congressman DeSaulnier’s Bill to Upgrade Contra Costa’s Water Infrastructure Clears Next Hurdle

July 18, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, legislation authored by Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) to help improve the Contra Costa Canal unanimously passed out of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee and is headed to the House Floor for a vote in the coming months. The Contra Costa Canal Transfer Act (H.R. 6040), would transfer the title of the canal system from the Bureau of Reclamation to the Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) to allow for the CCWD to make necessary safety improvements to the canal.

“In order to streamline improvements to our aging canal system, the ownership of the Contra Costa Canal should be transferred from the federal government to the Contra Costa Water District. I am pleased that our effort to help upgrade the Contra Costa Canal and revitalize the surrounding land for recreation, development, and the enjoyment of local residents is one step closer to becoming law,” said Congressman DeSaulnier.

Since the Contra Costa Canal has been operational, 81 people have drowned in the canal. The 48-mile canal system is currently exposed, but following the transfer, CCWD will work to enclose it in a surface tunnel. H.R. 6040 would help prevent these accidents and improve recreation and land use in and around the canal by revitalizing land located in the Concord Naval Weapons Station.

“We appreciate the effort our representatives are devoting to keep H.R. 6040 moving through the legislative process,” said Connstance Holdaway, Vice President of the Contra Costa Water District’s Board of Directors. “The canal system is the backbone of the District’s delivery system and gaining title of the system is an important step for the future of this facility.”

Representatives Mike Thompson (CA-05) and Jerry McNerney (CA-09) are co-sponsors of the bill. Companion legislation was also introduced in the Senate by Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris.