DeSaulnier’s Bill to Allow for Upgrades to the Contra Costa Canal Signed into Law
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) announced that legislation he authored to allow for upgrades to the Contra Costa Canal, the Contra Costa Canal Transfer Act (H.R. 432), has been signed into law. The bill, which passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, was included as part of a bipartisan public lands and conservation package in the Senate (S.47). The bill transfers the title of the canal system from the Bureau of Reclamation to the Contra Costa Water District (CCWD), allowing the CCWD to invest in safety and environmental improvements to the canal’s infrastructure.
“Passage of the Contra Costa Canal Transfer Act allows the Contra Costa Water District to implement long overdue improvements to the canal,” said Congressman DeSaulnier. “This legislation will allow for critical safety and structural improvements, and will bring benefits to all Contra Costa residents.”
Built between 1937 and 1948, the Contra Costa Canal delivers water to both homes and businesses throughout Contra Costa County, and also to the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys for irrigation. The 48-mile canal system is currently exposed, but following the transfer CCWD will work to enclose it in a surface tunnel. Since the Contra Costa Canal has been operational, 81 people have drowned in the canal. The Contra Costa Canal Transfer Act would help prevent these accidents, and improve recreation and land use in and around the canal system by revitalizing land located in the Concord Naval Weapons Station.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) authored similar legislation in the Senate. A previous version of this bill Mark authored passed unanimously in the U.S. House of Representatives last year.